By Sally Reid
Photography: Jacinda Younger, Cornege Photography
It’s only a matter of months (four!) since New Zealand’s 2022 dressage championships were held, delayed by Covid and unprecedented weather. So the champions were still new when another bunch rose up to claim their titles.
One horse was absent from the 2022 entry list as he had been abroad,representing New Zealand at World Championships and training at Anne van Olst’s stables in the Netherlands. He returned home with a vengeance, however: the unstoppable Windermere J’Obei W (Johnson - Miss Pompeii xx x Pompeii Court xx). This 12-year-old NZ Warmblood was bred by David Woolley and Rania Todd, and is owned by Rodney and Anne Parkes and their daughter, Melissa Galloway, who has ridden him throughout his career.
The pair won the NZ Grand Prix championship (Burkner Medal) at their last appearance here in 2020, breaking records as they did so, but those same records were broken by them again this year, with three powerful performances: 73.456% in the Grand Prix, 72.87% in the Special and 77.035% in the Freestyle. Judges included Isobel Wessels (FEI-5*) from the UK, and Kerrie Swan-Bates (FEI- 4*) and Ricky Macmillan (FEI-4*) both from Australia.
Last year’s champion, Don Vito MH (Don Frederico - Adelheid MH x Anamour), took the reserve title. He is a New Zealand Hanoverian, bred by Judith Matthews of Matthews Hanoverians, and owned and ridden by Wendi Williamson. The 10-year-old is still maturing, but was the only other horse to score more than 70% in the GP (70.37%). He also broke the 70% barrier in the Special (71.043%), and was marked higher than Windermere J’Obei W in that test by one judge.
A DW dynasty
Breeder David Woolley was on hand to watch Windermere J’Obei W (‘Joey’) in action, and also to present the prize for the Musical Freestyle on behalf of the NZ Hanoverian Society. “It was a huge honour; even more special as it was won by a horse I bred, who’s owned, ridden, and produced by my good friend Melissa Galloway. Melissa bought this horse as a two-year-old when she was 19, and has travelled the world with him. Next stop Sydney CDI and hopefully Paris 2024. Seeing him in action again made me realise how lucky I am to have his only half-sister in my broodmare paddock. Dallas DW is by Doringcourt (Dressage Royal) from the same Thoroughbred mare as Joey: Miss Pompeii xx by Pompeii Court xx. Dallas has had four foals and is starting to create her own little dynasty of performance horses.
“Her first foal was Nina DW by Negro and was intended to be my star broodmare for the future, but she had other plans. She wouldn’t take to frozen semen, so after one beautiful foal to fresh semen (Dagobert DW x Diamant B, now with Lani Allard) I had her started and sold her to my good friend Sarah Holmes, where she is forging a very successful dressage career... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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