A Kaitaia equestrian and the breeder of the horses she rides have enjoyed a prolific run of success.

After winning a Level 4 title on Dante MH at the Auckland Dressage Champs in Clevedon in December, Kaye Ah Sam won two prestigious provincial titles in Whangarei in mid-February, riding Bardot MH and Graffiti MH.

She then rode Decadance MH to the coveted Supreme Champion title in the young dressage class at the New Zealand championships in Fielding this month.

All her mounts were bred by Peter and Judith Matthews at their Awanui stud.


Ah Sam and Decadance began the national championship campaign by winning the Young Dressage 4-year-old class; the pair eventually taking out Supreme Champion Young Dressage overall title (as judged from the three champions from each grade in the Young Dressage class, 4, 5 and 6-year-old).

Ah Sam said she was very surprised to take out the overall title before Judith Matthews interjected by noting her rider was actually "thrilled to bits", adding that Decadance had developed into a truly impressive horse.

Ah Sam, meanwhile, has been the regular rider of Decadance since she was broken in; at least up until the NZ championships, when a test rider also had a ride as was required under competition regulations.

"He [test rider] said it was one of the best 4-year-olds he has ridden in a while," said Ah Sam.

For the record, the test rider rides all six finalists in the Young Dressage event after their own riders have taken their respective horse through a freestyle test under direction from event judges. The age group champions are decided before those three winners go back before the judges for some more tests to decide the supreme champion.

Ah Sam and Decadance will represent the Far North at the Horse of the Year Show in Hawke's Bay this weekend.