Young dressage horse champions [l-r] 6yo Furst Rock DW ridden by Vanessa Way, 5yo Dance Hit SW and rider Susan Tomlin, and the 4yo Feuer Tanz with Rochelle Speirs

By Sally Reid
Photography: Libby Law

New Zealand’s major dressage competition was postponed for several months last year, from its usual March date until late November. This was due, of course, to the Covid-19 lockdown, and the rescheduled competition coincided with the deadline of December’s Breeding News.

Therefore, it was only possible to provide the results and brief coverage last month, including the late news that Ythe superb New Zealand Warmblood, Windermere J’Obei W (Johnson - Miss Pompeii xx x Pompeii Court xx) is the 2020 National Grand Prix Champion and winner of the Burkner Medal. Now for more background.
Windermere J’Obei W, ‘Joey’, was bred by David Woolley – remember that name – and Rania Todd, is owned by the Parkes family of Windermere Equestrian, and ridden by Melissa Galloway (née Parkes). He was the 2019 Level 8 champion, and won the 2020 Dressage Horse of the Year (CDI3*) title at the age of nine, receiving top marks from every judge in every one of his tests. He also won the Zone 8 2018 FEI World Dressage Challenge and has had excellent CDI4* results in Australia. His winning performances have played a large part in propelling Team Nijhof’s Johnson to the top of the WBFSH dressage sire rankings.
At the 2020 Nationals, Windermere J’Obei W again won all three of his tests and is beginning to look invincible here, despite some strong opposition. This year’s HOY, which is scheduled for mid-March, will be a very interesting and much-anticipated competition.
Reserve National Champion was the dependably good Ruakura Satori MH (De Niro - Grand Gift x Genius) a 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding bred by Judith Matthews at Matthews Hanoverians, owned by Rosemary Carter, and ridden by Bill Millar. Incidentally, this result – 2020 National and Reserve GP champions – is identical to the 2020 GP Dressage Horse of the Year. Ruakura Satori MH was second in the GP Special, third in the Freestyle, and fourth in the Grand Prix.
Another NZWB bred by David Woolley and Rania Todd, sired by Johnson, and out of a Thoroughbred mare finished second in the Grand Prix: Windermere Johanson (Johnson - Miss Phillips xx x Kilimanjaro (GB) xx) – a gelding who is now 12 years old. Like Windermere J’Obei W, he is owned by Windermere Equestrian and ridden by Melissa Galloway.
Second in the Freestyle were the enormously popular Olympians, Vom Feinsten (Fiedermark - Wellcome x Weltmeyer) and his owner/rider Julie Brougham, who is fighting cancer and had just begun a course of chemotherapy. In fact, she was in hospital the day before the competition. These two won the national title in 2018 and finished just half a point behind Bill Millar and Ruakura Satori MH this year. ‘Steiny’ is a 17-year-old Rheinland gelding (like Satori MH), and bred in Germany by Rudi Henn.

Winners with a W

Windermere J’Obei W and Windermere Johanson were not the only stars with a W or DW after their name at this year’s nationals, and not the only point-scorers for Team Nijhof’s Johnson. The very exciting 10-year-old NZ Warmblood, Jax Johnson (Johnson - A La Mode x Anamour), was the Level 8 champion, winning all three of his tests too. Although he doesn’t have the DW or W suffix, this gelding was bred by David Woolley (in partnership with Rania Todd). He is owned and ridden by Gaylene Lennard, and was last season’s Level 5 national champion, as well as Level 5 Horse of the Year. Like Windermere J’Obei W, he has won an FEI World Challenge class: in his case, Senior I.s2If !is_user_logged_in()].. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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