It’s all systems go for the fast-approaching NRM National Three Day Event Championships.
The May 10-13 champs, being held at the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre in Taupo, are a highlight for many each year, not-the-least for the very prestigious trophies on offer across the levels.
The Wills Trophy, awarded to the NRM CCI3* Open National Champ has the names of many a top eventer etched on it – Olympians Vaughn Jefferis, Tinks Pottinger, Sir Mark Todd, Trudy Boyce, Matthew Grayling, Marges Knighton, Heelan Tompkins, Clarke Johnstone, Shane Rose and Andrew Scott can all lay claim to the top trophy which was donated by WD and HO Wills. Last year it was won by South Islander Emily Cammock aboard Shaw Lee, with Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding taking it in 2016 – the battle for honours this year will be fierce.
The Picadilly Trophy is awarded to the highest placed eligible combination in the Bates CCI2* Championship. It was presented in 1980 by long time international and national judge Peter Williams who was also the first chair of the horse trials committee and chairman of the rules committee for more than 20 years before retiring in 1985. Last year it was presented to Madison Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest.
The Mamaku Trophy was presented by Mamaku Stud and Mr Peter Williams. The stud owned the stallion Tara Mink who is remembered as being the sire of Charisma – one of the greatest eventers of all time. Last year Angela Lloyd and Lyrical won the trophy which is awarded to the winner of the Fiber Fresh CCI1* Championship winner. It was first presented in 1980.
The CCN105 Champion will be awarded the Thomson Trophy, which was first presented by Tom and Barbara Thomson in 2010. Barbara photographed all sorts of equestrian events for decades, but sadly died while trout fishing in early 2017. Dannie Lodder and Overnight Success took out the trophy in 2017.
Also on the line is the Caseley Trophy for the Best Presented Horse at the New Zealand National Three Day Event Championships. The undisputed queen of detail, Sarah Young, will be chasing a hat-trick, having won it in 2016 with The Little Prince and in 2017 with Equador MVNZ. The trophy was presented by Mr TI Caseley, who was the secretary of the New Zealand Horse Society from 1956 until 1987.
And there is the epic North versus South island clash, with the Atlantic Silver Spurs going to the winning team. The South Island may have taken top honours last year but the tally is firmly in the favour of the north, 29-10.
The Mary Bowling Memorial Trophy, for the National Young Event Horse Championship at the National Three Day Event, has been awarded to Samantha Felton for the past two years and is always a very hotly contested class. The best performed mare at the event will be awarded the Charlton Stud Prize with a New Zealand Pony Club award for the highest placed Pony Club rider.
The event gets underway with the National Young Event Horse Championship on Thursday. The dressage for the CCN105, CCI1*, CCI2* and CCI3* championship classes, along with the AMS Saddlery CCI1* open and the CCN105 open classes, run through Friday, with the cross country on Saturday and the showjumping on Sunday.
Helen Christie is president of the ground jury for the CCI2* and CCI3* classes, alongside Australian judge, Carolyn James, and fellow New Zealander Nicoli Fife, with Chris Ross the cross country designer and Philippa Howells designing the showjumping.
In the CCI1*, Mura Love is the president of the ground jury with John Holmes designing the cross country and Howells the jumping. Janet Fox is president of the CCN105 with Holmes and Howells taking care of their respective areas.
Also culminating at the NRM 3DE are the six season-long series – the ESNZ Eventing Super League, Equissage Pro Am Rider Series, Mitavite Young Rider Series, PEL Amateur Rider Series, ESNZ Eventing Junior Rider Series and the ESNZ Eventing Grassroots Series.
And keep an eye out on the ESNZ Eventing Facebook site, Ten Minute Box email newsletter and via equestrianentries.co.nz in early April for your exciting opportunity to win a brand new Bates Advanta purpose eventing saddle valued at RRP $5,495. Raffle tickets selling at just $5 per ticket or $20 for a book of five tickets.