Matthew Grayling has once again triumphed in the pinnacle class of New Zealand eventing, the National Three Day Championship.

The Taranaki dairy farmer steered Trudeau, owned by Winky Foley and Bruce Smith, to a very popular win in the 15-strong DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L National Championship class and hoist the Wills Trophy, adding to the Equestrian Entries CCI2*-L Open he won earlier on Henton Ambassador.

The Athens Olympian is no stranger to national titles, but it has been a while since he last won one – he previously won the CCI4*-L Wills Trophy in 2005 and 2006 with Gordon, but also has his name etched on the Picadilly Trophy as winner of the CCI3* Picadilly Trophy (Parklane Hawk in 2008) and the CCI2*-L Mamaku Trophy (Parklane Hawk in 2007).

“This is a big win for me. Every win is a good win! What a weekend – it is very nice to be back in the winners’ circle,” he said. “This is what you do it for – the national title at Taupo is pretty special. It is the pinnacle of New Zealand eventing and you come here to prove yourself.”

He said the Chris Ross-designed cross country had been as tough as you get. “People underestimate what we do in New Zealand. This tests and prepares you well if you want to go overseas.”

Matthew admitted to a few nerves riding into the showjumping. Last to go, Matthew rode a very considered round, with the big grey Trudeau ever-so-lightly touching the odd fence, but everything stayed up . . . until the last. However, four faults wasn’t enough to take away the title, which he won on 36.3 penalty points. Runners-up Abigail Long (Levin) and her big chestnut Belmont Holy Smoke were graceful with their four-fault round, to finish on 42, with Monica Oakley (Taupo) and Artist in third on 44.7.

The NRM CCI3*-L Championship and Picadilly Trophy went the way of a rather emotional Shannon Galloway (Hamilton) and Day Walker who just over a year ago had been so sore she thought the horse would become “a rather expensive paddock ornament.”

Shannon was overcome as the realisation of the win sunk in. “What a weekend,” she said.
She’s had Day Walker for six years. “He is super bold, with a great brain, and I thought if I could contain that, he would be amazing.”

Their dressage at the NZ3DE was a personal best at 31 penalty points and they added just 3.6 time in the very challenging cross country that saw only three combinations clear and inside time and half the field fall by the wayside. It was a very tough class that saw just 15 of the original 32 starters make it through to the showjumping test.

Those who know Scout Lodder knew it was only a matter of time before this talented 14-year-old won a title at the national champs. This morning, the teen from Papakura came from behind to win the Marsh Ltd CCI2*-L Championship title and Mamaku Trophy aboard her mum Dannie’s very special horse Money Shot. There were plenty of tears when her supporters realised the youngster had headed home the 27-strong class – her first shot at the title because of her age.

Scout was very excited and could only marvel at just how lucky she felt to have the ride on the nine-year-old.

“It is pretty incredible,” she said. “There is no better feeling.” Money Shot has been with the family for four years. He is a special member of the family because he got Dannie through when she had a brain haemorrhage – he was the first horse she rode after that. “He helped me through my worst times,” she said.

The long trip north paid big dividends for Anna Bryant and Peace Train who snaffled the Dunstan CCN1*-L Championship and the Thomson Trophy in the final test.

The Methven combination notched a stunning clear to take the win on 27.2 penalty points, backing up their recently-won national one day crown. The seven-year-old 17hh grey is owned by Bernie Hewitson and has been with Anna for just eight months.

“We have always thought he was special,” says Anna. “He can be spooky so he is not always easy, but he tries his little heart out. I said to Bernie when I got back how nice it was to be sitting on a horse that if I don’t get it right every time, he still tries super hard.”

Heelan Tompkins (Rotorua) and CP Aurelio won the Caseley Trophy for the best presented horse at the show. The warmblood thoroughbred cross, who is by Contender, is owned by Danielle Wheeler and groomed by mum Briar Wheeler.

The championships were hosted over five days at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo.


DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L National Championship (Wills Trophy): Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) Trudeau 36.3 1, Abigail Long (Levin) Belmont Holy Smoke 42 2, Monica Oakley (Taupo) Artist 44.7 3, Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Anonymous 47.6 4, Christen Lane (Taupo) Thunder Cat 53.5 5.

NRM CCI3*-L Championship (Picadilly Trophy): Shannon Galloway (Hamilton) Day Walker 35 1, Vicky Browne-Cole (Waiuku) Cutting Edge 39.6 2, Monica Oakley (Taupo) Good Timing 44.3 3, Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Coup Perfectly Done 47.1 4, Kelli Frewin (Hawke’s Bay) Phoenician Zatalk 51.8 5.

Marsh Ltd CCI2*-L Championship (Mamaku Trophy): Scout Lodder (Papakura) Money Shot 30.2 1, Lauren Enright (Otago) Tygra 34.2 2, Colleen Marett (Te Muka) Attenborough 35.4 3, Louise Mulholland (Taumarunui) George of the Jungle 39.6 4, Monica Oakley (Taupo) Chasing Great 40.2 5.

Dunstan CCN1*-L Championship (Thomson Trophy): Anna Bryant (Methven) Peace Train 27.9 1, Stephanie Liefting (Clevedon) Prestige Springs 30 2, Anne-Marie Styles (Clevedon) Tamburo 31.1 3, Ashra McAvinue (Hunua) TR Willow 31.5 4, Claudia Hurley (Patea) Bluetooth 32.2 5.

Equestrian Entries CCI2*-L Open: Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) Henton Ambassador 25.6 1, Brittany Fowler (Matangi) Game Keeper 31.9 2, Bridie Quigley (Auckland) Oranoa Greyson 36.8 3, Charlotte Penny (Taupo) SD Amourosi 37.4 4, Savanna Stirling (Clevedon) Shillings 39.8 5.

Treadlite CCN2*-L Open: Brooke Lyons (Auckland) Freddy Dash 37.8 1, Scout Lodder (Papakura) Overnight Success 41 2, Catherine Taylor (Palmerston North) Coljoy 52.8 3, Bridie Quigley (Auckland) Ricker Ridge Riley 87.8 4, Ken Blake (Taupo) Our Silver Fern 148.1 5.

Taupo Veterinary Centre CCN105-L Open: Ashleigh McKinstry (Taupo) Pioneer Ice Monkey 27.7 1, Kirsity Bale (Whangarei) Kelaray Gifted 30 2, Carys McCrory (Hastings) Nemesis 31.4 3, Kate Potter (Hamilton) Decoy Dee 32.2 4, Abbey Thompson (Te Kauwhata) Cadbury KSNZ 32.5 5. Best performed first-time competitor: Kate Potter (Hamilton) Decoy Dee.

Penny Homes CCN95-L Open: Anne-Marie Styles (Clevedon) Get Go 27.5 1, Sarah Saint Merat (Whangarei) Balliamo 28.9 2, Anne-Marie Styles (Clevedon) LV Imprint 29.5 3, Kate Fleming (Pauatahanui) Lumiere VWNZ 30 4, Shannon Galloway (Hamilton) Orange Justice 30.9 5. Best performed first-time competitor: Brooke Chandler ( ) I’m Bruce.

Oranoa Sport Horses CCN95-L Restricted: Sinead Gordon (Waipu) I Told You So 32.5 1, Chloe Triggell (Taupo) My Lorenzo 33 2, Rosa Wilkinson (Whangarei) Kabo Pongo 33.8 3, Rebecca Wilson (Otaki) Soren 33.8 4, Karen Patrick (Masterton) Caio 34.5 5, Belize McQuarrie (Christchurch) Mr JF Hawk 36.6 6. Best performed first-time competitor: Sinead Gordon (Waipu) I Told You So.

EventStars and Xtreme Sport Horses National Young Event Horse Championship: Renee Faulkner (Auckland) LSH Chivenor Bloemenhof 1, Karen Patrick (Wairarapa) Caio 2, Monica Oakley (Taupo) Carousal 3, Karen Nierderer (Taupo) Only the Brave 4, Anne Marie Styles (Auckland) Get Go 5. Best mare: Monica Oakley (Taupo) Carousal. Best performed four-year-old: Renee Faulkner (Auckland) LSH Chivenor Bloemenhof. Best performed thoroughbred: Karen Patrick (Wairarapa) Caio.