Grayling wins by a Country Mile at Kihikihi
Story by Bevan Houlbrooke
Matthew Grayling on Revo has taken top honours at the inaugural New Zealand Qualifier for the FEI Eventing World Cup held in conjunction with the Mitavite Horse Trial at Kihikihi over the weekend.
The Taranaki pair led the class on Friday with a polished Dressage test. On Saturday the combination went around the Cross Country clear and within the optimum time. With five rails in hand before today’s Show Jumping phase, Grayling dropped one rail to comfortably take top honours ahead of Rotorua’s Craig Nicolai on Bush Ranger and Auckland’s Kirstin Kelly on Clifton Hula.
Grayling said that he was thrilled to secure qualifying points to the FEI Eventing World Cup, a world wide series involving 18 qualifier events culminating in the Final in France in October. Grayling has sights firmly set on qualifying for the Athens Olympics and winning the FEI Eventing World Cup Qualifier is an important stepping stone towards his Olympic goal.
The New Zealand league of the FEI Eventing World Cup Qualifier attracted 19 entries and the new format was well received by competitors. The cross country course designed and built by John Nicholson in conjunction with Mark Todd was described by Grayling as a “true test of international standard” and has been ideal for Revo’s build up.
Grayling and Revo will now head to Taupo for the National Three-Day Event Championships in May in order to further their chances of Olympic selection.