It’s been a while between drinks at the New Zealand Three Day Event Championships for Taranaki dairy farmer Matthew Grayling, but today he added another to his trophy cabinet, with victory in the Equestrian Entries CCI2*-L Open aboard Henton Ambassador.

The combination led from the start aboard the big Anamour bay, with a 25.6 penalty point dressage score, which remained unchanged during the cross country and showjumping tests.

Matthew last won at the three day in 2008 aboard Parklane Hawk when they took out the CCI3*-L Picadilly Trophy.

Henton Ambassador – who is owned by breeders David and Brigit Sutton, Chris and Vikki Nicholson and Matthew and Susan Grayling – was pretty full of himself at the trot up but did a lovely showjumping round to take the win.

“He was jumping a little squarer than normal but he really felt he was giving them a fair bit of air . . . and he made me work,” said Matthew. “It is very rewarding to win, when you consider the amount of work that goes into him, and it is really great for the owners.”

The horse had pulled a little during the cross country but Matthew said he concentrated well and was very honest throughout. “Perhaps we’ve got a little coming of age.”

The discussion now turns to how far he can go. “It is whether he is fast enough for the top end is the question. He has a big stride – which is both good and bad – which means the distances come up very fast. Sometimes he thinks he knows best . . . which can be challenging.”

Matthew has previously won all the top titles at the National Championships.

Today in the CCI2*-L Open, just Matthew and runner-up Brittany Fowler (Matangi) aboard Game Keeper (31.9) were all clear to remain on their dressage scores. Bridie Quigley (Auckland) and Oranoa Greyson were third on 36.8.

Results –

Equestrian Entries CCI2*-L Open: Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) Henton Ambassador 25.6 1, Brittany Fowler (Matangi) Game Keeper 31.9 2, Bridie Quigley (Auckland) Oranoa Greyson 36.8 3, Charlotte Penny (Taupo) SD Amourosi 37.4 4, Savanna Stirling (Clevedon) Shillings 39.8 5.

For full results, head to