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New Zealand’s Warmbloods of Distinction awards

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Eventing winner, Trudeau, ridden by Matthew Grayling

By Sally Reid
Photography: Take The Moment

Two purpose-bred champions and a ‘secretly bred’ eventing star are this year’s NZWA Warmbloods of Distinction. The awards are given in recognition of performance excellence at National and International level in jumping, eventing and dressage during the 2021-22 season.

In total, 29 horses – most of them in the dressage division – met the NZ Warmblood Association’s qualifying criteria.

Trudeau claims eventing title

Winky Foley – winner of the Wills Trophy

The eventing title went to Trudeau (Magistad - Clarity x Valiant). The gorgeous 16-year-old grey gelding was ‘secretly’ bred by Winky Foley of Kumeu, resulting in a long-running argument with her partner, Peter Smith, who saw the venture as a waste of money. Finally, to put an end to his complaints, Winky added his name to the ownership papers. However, it wasn’t until Trudeau began to win with his rider Matthew Grayling, that Peter was mollified, says Winky. “Now he tells everyone he owns the best horse in New Zealand.”
She and Peter Smith are no newcomers to breeding: they run Kahukuri Bloodstock and have bred many successful racehorses, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred. For Winky, Sport Horses have been just an occasional indulgence. And despite the secrecy, Trudeau was carefully bred to be an eventer. “My aim was to breed a horse who could go to two-star. I thought I’d be so stoked if he could get to that level. I didn’t ever dream of four-star,” says Winky. “I always thought it would take time with him. I don’t like horses brought on too early; Trudeau went to Matthew when he was eight, and he’s never had a joint or tendon problem in his life. He’s a challenging, quirky horse, but Matthew has the patience of Job.”
Winky’s dream of breeding a two-star winner became a reality in 2016 when Trudeau was 10. Two years later, Grayling described him as ‘electric’, and predicted: “I think he’s going to be all right. As long as I can keep training him how he needs to be trained and he keeps believing in me, I think we can go a little bit further yet.” They have certainly done that, and Trudeau has more than made up for all his quirks. He is the current holder of the New Zealand CCI-L- 4* and CCI-S-4* championships, and singlehandedly propelled Winky Foley into 93rd place on the May 2022 WBFSH eventing breeder rankings. He also won the CCI-L- 4* championship in 2021.
Trudeau has interesting lineage, including that of Galoubet, Absatz, and a number of Arabian champions. Clarity, his dam, was injured as a foal and never ridden. Her sire Valiant (1987: Galoubet A - Crystal Vale xx x Bravisimo II xx) was a Selle Français bred in the USA by Barbara Rowland, and imported to New Zealand by Bill Millar and Sally Linton of Kahurangi Farm in 1994 – the first Selle Français stallion to come to this country. His own dam, Crystal Vale xx, who was also known as Animation, competed successfully to Grand Prix level in the US with Frank Chapot, and her daughter – Valiant’s full sister Ultra Light – jumped in Europe.
Trudeau’s sire Magistad (Silver Reflection ox - Sorello x Allermund) was bred by John Smith of Heron’s Ridge and owned by Debbie Crawford. Like Trudeau himself, he was a striking-looking grey with a superb jumping style. His dam Sorello was a champion Warmblood, and also the dam of Starlight Farm’s beautiful broodmare Lakota (Argonaut Style xx). “I’m grateful to Matthew for bringing Trudeau through to the point where he’s exciting and he’s achieving,” says Winky... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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