In the Moment may not have been fast enough for the track, but today he and Sarah Dalziell-Clout were all class, taking the overall honours in the Equissage Young Event Horse National Championship in Taupo.

Their star quality didn’t end there – the Masterton combination also won the AMS Saddlery Best Four-Year-Old and Reyna Equestrian Best Registered Thoroughbred on the opening day of the NRM National Three Day Event Championships.

The ESNZ High Performance director Dalziell-Clout has had the horse just a year.

“I had been looking for something young to replace Benrose Superstar who did a tendon last year and had retired from eventing.”

In the Moment had trialled (to race) but it was decided he was too slow. However, Dalziell-Clout saw plenty of talent in the horse.

“He was so balanced and uphill when I tried him,” she said.

They almost didn’t make it to the national championships.

“We’re lucky to be here. It is a long way to come with one horse in a horse truck.”

She found him a ride and the rest is history. Ring side to watch her success was mum Sue Dalziell and five-month-old son Jonty.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without Mum.”

Dalziell-Clout has only had one other start on the thoroughbred gelding, who is by Raise the Flag and out of Zenagen, placing fifth at Central Districts in the 95cm.

“He’s got lots of presence and finds all three phases easy. He’s a real natural . . . the good looks are a bonus. I always felt he had class but he hasn’t done enough to know just how competitive he would be. I’m stoked to win.”

The 15-strong field – 10 of which were thoroughbreds – were judged on conformation, dressage, jumping and galloping before the top six were called back for another round of competition which also included a freestyle dressage test.

Finishing second was Juliet Wood aboard Waitangi Imak (by Cassini II, out of Waitangi Laptop), with Eliza Raven aboard Carter PSH (by Corofino II, out of For Fame PSH), third, Equissage Best Mare winner Trick Key (by Man of Power) with Dannie Lodder fourth, Bonnie Farrant and Jay Gatsby (by Postponed, out of Requiem Moss) fifth and Amanda Pottinger with Timeless (by Iffraaj, out of Scarlet Runner) rounding out the top six.