The New Zealand One-day Eventing Championships will be at the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre at Aratiatia, Taupo, this weekend.
The winners of the CIC3* (Advanced) Championship will be awarded the Forest Gate Trophy. The trophy has been contested every year since 1957, rotating round the country, but the one-day championships have not been staged at Taupo previously, although the national three-day event has found a permanent home there.
However, there is more at stake than the national titles, which are run under FEI (International) rules, which means a 50 per cent bonus in the points earned in the Eventing New Zealand series.
Last year's winner of the Forest Gate, took the lead in the Bell Tea Super League and was never headed.
Christen Hayde, Pukekohe, and Tandarra Sweet As will defend the title against 18 of the country's top combinations, including Annabel Wigley, who is bringing two horses from Amberley, including NRM Frog Rock, who she won the Eventing title at the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings in March.
The current leader of the Bell Tea Super League, Donna Smith, Te Kauwhata, on Tim and Sarah Varley's Just Chocolate, will be trying to cement her place at the top, while a barrage of young riders are staking their claim for recognition on the senior stage.
Ashleigh McKinstry, Taumarunui, and her part Kaimanawa, Pioneer Makokomiko, are second in the series as well as leading the Massey University Young Rider series. Charlotte Grayling, New Plymouth, daughter of former international Matthew Grayling, also holds top placings in both series with NRM Ru Star.
The CIC2* (Intermediate) and CIC1* (Novice) Championships, plus the Pre-Novice Championship run under ESNZ rules, have attracted large entries, including some South Islanders seeking to make their mark in the North Island.
To accommodate the number of entries, the dressage and showjumping take place tomorrow with the cross-country on Sunday.