By Sally Reid
Photography: Cornege Photography
Dressage New Zealand’s inaugural Breeder of the Year is David Woolley, whose very successful, self-operated little stud produced not just one but two of the horses heading to Herning to represent New Zealand at the FEI World Championships.
Both are by Johnson NOP and both are geldings: Windermere J’Obei W (out of a Thoroughbred mare) and Jax Johnson, whose dam is by the Hanoverian Anamour. They are ridden by Melissa Galloway and Gaylene Lennard respectively.
“I was very honoured to receive the inaugural award,” says Woolley. “Breeding horses, just like producing a dressage horse, is a very long game and it can take years to know if you have the recipe right. It also takes huge effort and expertise from the riders and trainers of your horses – not just to train them, but to keep them sound and happy in their work. It is in this area that luck has truly been on my side. I’m so excited to get to watch Melissa, Gaylene and John [Thompson] next month in Herning.”
Bred by G. Verrijt, John Thompson will be riding the KWPN stallion JHT Chemistry (Connaisseur) who also has Johnson NOP’s blood; his dam, Cendea, is a Johnson daughter.
Not only does David Woolley have double representation at Herning: Jax Johnson and Windermere J’Obei W might just have a unique status. “I’m interested to note that none of the horses from Australia were bred there, so my horses are probably the only ones bred in the Southern Hemisphere. This makes me think how important it is for us to continue to encourage and develop our domestic breeding industry, as most riders in New Zealand struggle to afford a well-bred horse from here, let alone the cost to buy and import a horse from overseas,” says Woolley. .. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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