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New Zealand: A birthplace for world-class eventers

YEH Champion Woodbine Glide Time ridden by his breeder, Helen McGrath

By Sally Reid
Photography: Take The Moment, DSE Eventing

Running concurrently, New Zealand’s National Three-Day Eventing Championships, and the Young Event Horse Championship took place at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo, and any titles won in these competitions carry great prestige.

Sadly, eventers, like jumpers and dressage riders, have been greatly affected by weather this season, and the lead-up to this event was yet another very wet one. However, the sun reappeared just in time, and the free-draining Taupo grounds were in grand condition.

Young Event Horse

YEH Best Mare DSE Astek Gabrielle ridden by Elise Edwards-Smith

Although the National Young Event Horse Championship was contested by just 14 horses, there was no lack of quality. Two – including the overall winner – were by the imported Bavarian Warmblood stallion Eurocommerce Pennsylvania, Prämienhengst (Gambrinus R - Goldfee x Pilot); more about him and his progeny below.
The class is judged on jumping (35%), dressage (35%), conformation (15%), and gallop (15%), with five cross-country obstacles and six showjumps in the jumping phase, with the win being celebrated by Woodbine Glide Time (Eurocommerce Pennsylvania - Woodbine Next Time Round x Corlando), a five-year-old gelding, on a score of 77.60. He was bred by mother and daughter Jan and Helen McGrath of Woodbine Sport Horses in Northland, and ridden by Helen. The McGraths have produced a number of very good eventers over the years, and now aim for just a single foal each season using AI with one of their home-bred mares.
“We are super-proud of him,” says Helen. “His grand-dam was a fantastic Thoroughbred called Maybe Next Time xx who I rode success-fully at three-star as a young rider around 25 years ago. She was by Star Wolf and is the foundation mare for all the horses we have bred recently. She’s also the grand-dam of my current three-star mare [*see below] who won last year at Taupo.
According to Helen, Woodbine Glide Time is an impressive youngster; “We are very proud to have bred a horse with the quality needed to win the National Young Event Horse title. I think he is a serious horse for the future – along with being the family favourite.” Woodbine Glide Time also finished second in the YEH class at Kihikihi earlier this year. His dam, Woodbine Next Time Round, was evented successfully by Helen, though not at the higher levels.
His sire, Eurocommerce Pennsylvania x Grand Pilot I is a Bavarian Warmblood who competed for the Netherlands in World Cup, Nations Cup, and the Global Champions Tour in showjumping with Gerco Schröder. He was bred in Germany by Manfred Rudel, and has been at Goldengrove Stud since 2017. E. Pennsylvania has five-star progeny competing in Europe, and a very promising young stallion son in New Zealand: Candyapple GNZ II (Eurocommerce Pennsylvania x Corrado I x Corlando). Note that Corlando (Contango II x Lander x Skid xx), is also Woodbine Glide Time’s dam-sire; he was an Australian-bred Holsteiner from Stamm 4145, imported by Goldengrove Stud. He sired some very good progeny here, including My Super Nova, a mare who won the 2018 NZL World Cup SJ series.
*Woodbine Magic Maze (Stanhope’s Magician SHBGB - Woodbine Just In Time x Brilliant Invader xx) won the CCI3*-L National Championship at Taupo last year, and finished third this year. This eye-catching skewbald mare is a very consistent performer... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber