National 160km title winners, Andrea Smith and Glenmore Tariq.
Coming home in second place, and also securing the Grassroots World FEI Qualifying Series win (over a maximum of seven CEI rides) was Taranaki's Sean Trafford and Sayfwood Rolling Stone. They were just under 30 minutes behind Smith, while one of last year's World Equestrian Games competitors, Jenny Chandler on Lace and Fineness, claimed third spot, in 10.04.37. Lace and Fineness was also awarded the Best Conditioned award.
Also contested at these Nationals, and for the first time in several years, was the CEI JY 3* 160km ride, for riders under 21. For the past few years these riders have had to compete against adults, and some still chose to do so, but the FEI now allow them their own class. These young riders had a successful day with a 75% completion rate and first buckles for most. Wellington's Emma Mason, 16, won on Taralea Sheer Illusion, coming home uncontested in a time of 11.25.24, almost one hour ahead of Georgia Smith and Aurora Australis. In third place was Tessa Deuss and Aspen Hills Santa Ana. Taralea Sheer Illusion won Best Conditioned.
Gemma Haywood (Wairarapa) rode Roselea Royal Fire to win the CEI 2* 120km title in 7.57.05. Marie Wakeling on Tokopuhe Kid was just over 2 minutes behind Haywood, and in third was Jessica Scheffer riding Sheba, their time of 8.03.27. Sheba won Best Conditioned.
The young rider 2* 120km class was won by Leanne Ireland and Alshar Blue Levi, riding sensibly in a time of 8.46.57, ahead of Emma Armstrong and Blue Thunder Shimar and Stacey Jones on Makahiwi Pretoria.
The CEN 120km ride was won Australian Errol Watt, riding Raewyn Carter's Maioro Tahi in 9.59.07.
The 80km CEI 1* on Good Friday was won by Gemma Haywood on Roselea Flaunt It, while South Islander Charlotte Wadsworth, and Avaasha NZL, claimed the Young Rider class of this distance.
The CEI 1* 100km ride featured an exciting gallop finish, with Wellington rider Sandy McCuan and Mizraim Silver Gym just getting the nod over Natalie Bickerton and Makahiwi Gazelle. Amanda Walton and Lotus Blue Moon finished first in the Young Rider section, their time 6.43.05, and the CEN 100km Junior event was won by Brigitte Smith and Craig Royston Melba.
The Senior CEN 60km event was won by Eileen Hart and Montana Rein, with Charlotte Berrett and Aspen Hills Balalaika taking out the junior division.