It was a happy homecoming hattrick for New Zealand's Melissa Galloway and Windermere JÓbei W at the first New Zealand based CDI for 2023. In addition to the three wins notched up, the pair performed for a personal best score in the Grand Prix Special in front of judges Maria Schwennesen and Mary Seefried (AUS), Vittorio Barba (PHI) and Helen Hughes-Keen & Mura Love (NZL).
The event was transferred from the Cyclone Gabrielle affected Horse of the Year Show to the Waikato Oro Equestrian Championships at Taupo and attracted an experienced eight strong field.
Over the Moon
In 2022 Galloway spent 10 months in Europe, riding and training at Van Olst Horses in The Netherlands, in preparation of her team start at the 2022 World Championships in Herning.
Now back home in New Zealand, Galloway and her equine partner Windermere J'Obei (by Johnson x Pompeii Court xx), bred by Rania Todd in partnership with David Woolley, scored 72.196% in the Grand Prix, 73.191 % in the Special, and 72.825% in the freestyle
“I’m over the moon with Joey” said Melissa after her Freestyle. “He had a break when we got back from Herning, and then a longer unplanned break when I broke my leg. But he’s come back better and stronger than ever. Now it’s just more time and more strength without too much pressure. This was the first time I’d ridden that music and it’s got a lot of prominent bass. At home you just ride it with your headphones, so he hadn’t had a chance to listen to it! He made some honest mistakes in the freestyle – the speakers by our pirouettes surprised him. But his half passes just left me with the biggest grin on my face – I couldn’t stop smiling”
Sue Hobson, Chair of the Ground Jury was also full of praise for Melissa’s Freestyle ride. “The half passes were something special. I felt quite emotional watching them. My scribe had to ask if I was OK !”
Both Melissa and fellow competitor Cooper Oborn, an Australian athlete based in Masterton, said how grateful they were to Dressage NZ for ensuring the CDI went ahead. “and to have Melissa back is so inspiring” said Cooper.
Williamson Runner-Up, Anamour Stamps NZL Dressage Sport
Wendi Williamson on the youngest horse in the field, Don Vito MH (by Don Frederico x Anamour), showed great form to be runner up in all three CDI classes. Don Vito has made a great comeback after serious illness prevented him from contesting a team place for the 2022 World Championships. Both Wendi and Melissa have the CDI at the NZ National Championships in two weeks on their radar and then both plan to head to the Sydney CDI.
The next placings were shared between Vanessa Way and her wonderful campaigner NSC Andreas (by Anamour x Dynamit), Gaylene Lennard and Jax Johnson (by Johnson x Anamour), and Cooper Oborn with the Stutchbury family’s Aphrodite (by Anamour x Jacinto xx).
by Wendy Hamerton, edited by Eurodressage
Photo © Your View Photography
Scores: 2023 CDI Taupo
New Zealand's Horse of the Year Show Postponed after Devastation Caused by Cyclone Gabrielle
Wendi Williamson Wins 2022 New Zealand Dressage Championships
Vanessa Way's NSC Andreas Recovered from Corneal Ulcer
New Zealand's Gaylene Lennard Earns World Championship MER Score at 2022 CDI Taupo