A tough day of cross country at the New Zealand Three Day Eventing Championships has seen a shuffle up of the leaderboards and a number of combinations drop by the wayside.
The DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L National Championship saw 11 of the 14 combinations get round, seven clear jumping, but just one clear and inside time.
Olympian Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) and Trudeau moved up the leaderboard from third to first after their clear round, adding just 2.8 time penalties to end the day on 32.3 penalty points.
Overnight leader Monica Oakley (Taupo) and Artist slipped to second after adding 5.6 time to end the day on 32.7, with Abigail Long (Levin) and Belmont Holy Smoke charging up the leaderboard from 10th to third after a brilliant clear and inside time effort.
Matthew was very happy with the big grey gelding. “He jumped exceptionally well and looked after his jockey! I turned too quickly in the forest at one stage and he went down on his knees but got himself back up . . . bloody good self-preservation.”
Matthew says the horse can be a bit like a dragon when they first get out on course and he always needs to be mindful not to let Trudeau get too keen.
“I back him but you don’t know what the others are going to go like – I knew he is fit so it came down to me really. That is the name of the game at this level – you have to push it a bit to make time and that can sometimes be high risk. I am just really pleased with the way he ran.”
He had plenty of praise for course designer Chris Ross. “Full credit to him. We know he builds a demanding track but a lot of the horses jumped really well in the 4*, and that says the track was well built and readable for the horse.”
He’s looking forward to the showjumping tomorrow. “He has showjumped really well at times but it is a different story after you have jumped six kilometres of cross country.
Greer Caddigan (Cambridge) is still pinching herself about being at the top of the NRM CCI3*-L Championship after a big day of cross country. Thirty-one combinations starts the cross country, but by nightfall, just 16 are still in the race.
Ten combinations were eliminated, five retired and one withdrew, with Greer aboard Ricker Ridge Pico Boo one of just three to come home clear and inside time.
The primary school teacher says her goal was to do just that, but she had no idea just how challenging it would be. “There were lots of corners and while it was a really testing track, it was a good rider track. I thought it rode a lot harder than it walked. There were lots of good spaces to canter but you had to keep on your game for every jump. I was knackered at the end but very happy with his fitness.”
Greer credits Donna Edwards-Smith for her cross country improvement. “She has transformed my cross country riding. I am now hungrier to take the forward stride, which is a massive thing for me. I like to sit there and make the jumps look pretty, but cross country isn’t that, especially at 3* level. She has taught me to be hungry.”
She is now excitedly looking forward to tomorrow’s showjumping on ground she says is looking fantastic.
Greer got the ride on Beckham – as Ricker Ridge Pico Boo is known – in the spring of 2019 and bought him a year ago. “He came up for sale when Sam (Lissington) was selling horses to go offshore. He is my dream horse – I didn’t want to let him go,” says Greer. “I love how he got his name – he hides in the corner and actually does peek a boo. He is so willing to please, tries so hard and is quirky but I am just so very lucky,” said the 22-year-old.
In the Marsh Ltd CCI2*-L Championship, Monica Oakley (Taupo) and Chasing Great have taken the lead, and remain on their dressage score of 28.2 penalty points, with Lauren Enright (Otago) on Tygra and Scout Lodder (Clevedon) aboard Money Shot equal second on 30.2.
Brooke Lyons (Auckland) and Freddy Dash lead the Treadlite CCN2*-L Open on 29.8, with Scout Lodder (Clevedon) and Overnight Success second on 33 and Catherine Taylor (Palmerston North) Coljoy in third on 40.8.
Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) and Henton Ambassador have held on to their lead in the Equestrian Entries CCI2*-L Open after a clean and clear run in the cross country, to sit on 25.6. Savanna Stirling (Clevedon) and Shillings sit in second on 31.8 and Brittany Fowler (Matangi) in third aboard Game Keeper on 31.9.
DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L National Championship (after dressage and cross country: Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) Trudeau 32.3 1, Monica Oakley (Taupo) Artist 32.7 2, Abigail Long (Levin) Belmont Holy Smoke 38 3, Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Anonymous 39.6 4, Abbey Thompson (Te Puke) Rockin It 43.8 5.
NRM CCI3*-L Championship: Greer Caddigan (Cambridge) Ricker Ridge Pico Boo 29.8 1, Kelli Frewin (Hawke’s Bay) Phoenician Zatalk 31.8 2, Shannon Galloway (Hamilton) Day Walker 34.6 3, Abigail Long (Te Puke) Henton Audacious 37.7 4, Vicky Browne-Cole (Waiuku) Cutting Edge 38.8 5.
Marsh CCI2*-L Championship: Monica Oakley (Taupo) Chasing Great 28.2 1, Lauren Enright (Otago) Tygra and Scout Lodder (Clevedon) Money Shot 30.2 =2, Lindsay Colwell (Christchurch) Waitangi Netflix 30.7 4, Louise Mulholland (Taumarunui) George of the Jungle 33.6 5.
Equestrian Entries CCI2*-L Open: Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) Henton Ambassador 25.6 1, Savanna Stirling (Clevedon) Shillings 31.8 2, Brittany Fowler (Matangi) Game Keeper 31.9 3, Bridie Quigley (Auckland) Oranoa Greyson 32.8 4, Charlotte Penny (Auckland) SD Amourosi 33.4 5.
Treadlite CCN2*-L Open: Brooke Lyons (Auckland) Freddy Dash 29.8 1, Scout Lodder (Clevedon) Overnight Success 33 2, Catherine Taylor (Palmerston North) Coljoy 40.8 3, Bridie Quigley (Auckland) Ricker Ridge Riley 64.2 4, Emily Denny (Te Kauwhata) Golden Horse Feeds Never Whisper 66.3 5.
For full results, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz