By Sally Reid
Photography: Pegasus Communications and courtesy Paula Brocklehurst
The National Three-Day Eventing Championships are held annually at NZ’s National Equestrian Centre in Taupo, in conjunction with the National Young Event Horse Championship. The top title was a repeat win for a very popular gelding with an interesting ancestral mix.
However, mares dominated the three lower levels, while a gorgeous young Thoroughbred took the coveted YEH championship.
Trudeau’s second trophy
For the second year running, the national championship’s most prestigious title, the Wills Trophy for the CCI4*-L, went to Trudeau (Magistad - Clarity x Valiant SF). This 15-year-old grey gelding who has Hanoverian, Selle Français, Arab, and Thoroughbred (54.88%) blood, led the competition from start to finish in the experienced hands of dairy farmer Matthew Grayling, a 2004 Athens Olympian. Trudeau is owned by his breeder, dressage judge Winky Foley and Pete Smith, and has been a consistently good performer through the grades. Among his many top places are the recent 2022 National One-Day CCI4*-S title, the CCI4*-S at Taupo in 2020, the CCI3*-S Waiteko Trophy at Kihikihi in 2019, and the Taupo CIC3* in 2018.
His sire, Magistad (Silver Reflection xo - Sorello x Allermud) is an Arabian-Warmblood cross, while his damsire, the A-line stallion Allermund (Absatz - StPrSt Alcantara x Aumund) was one of New Zealand’s first Hanoverian imports. Unfortunately, his stud career was cut short by injury having served for just three years.
Magistad himself has a stallion son, Never Never (Magistad - Songline x Wohler II), with progeny competing in all three disciplines here in Taupo.
On his dam’s side, Trudeau has some very fine jumping blood: Clarity is a granddaughter of the great Galoubet A. Her own sire, Valiant (Galoubet A - Bravisimo xx x Bang Up xx), was an American-bred Selle Français who has four-star rating with the NZWA. He was imported to New Zealand in 1994, and died in 2011.
The reserve CCI4*-L champion this year was another very dependable performer, Your Attorney xx (Legal Opinion xx - Polar Crown xx Carry the Crown xx), who is now 17. He is an Australian Thoroughbred, bred by Vantage Hill Bloodstock in New South Wales, and is owned and ridden by Diane Gilder.
Because it coincided with horses leaving to compete in Australia, this year’s Wills Trophy had a tiny entry – just three, with the other horses being eliminated.
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