Melissa Galloway and her trusted partner Windermere J'Obei W made an outstanding comeback to the New Zealand National Championships, held at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo. The duo were in top form and dominated the event by winning all three classes of the Grand Prix division, while breaking New Zealand records and setting personal bests.
Their first-class performance in the Grand Prix test earned them a remarkable score of 73.456%, which included a score of 74.8% from 5-star judge Isobel Wessels from Great Britain and 75.9% from Australian judge Kerrie-Swan Bates.
Galloway and Windermere J'Obei W showcased consistency and executed the pi-pa transitions flawlessly in their Grand Prix test. The freestyle performance was even more sensational, with an average score of 80.120% for Artistic and 73.950% for Technical. They set another national record of 77.035%, despite Galloway suffering from a tooth abscess.
Windermere J'Obei W, a talented horse by Johnson x Pompei xx, was bred by Rania Todd in partnership with David Woolley.
"I just couldn't be happier with him," said Galloway, beaming with joy, "but think I look like a chipmunk with my swollen cheek!"
Wendi Williamson and Don Vito MH (by Don Frederico x Anamour), the 2022 NZL champions, were the runners-up in the Grand Prix division. Williamson's experience with other horses at this level proved valuable as she piloted the powerful gelding through the tests, showing maturity and confidence with every outing. Gaylene Lennard on Jax Johnson (by Johnson x Anamour), Cooper Oborn on Aphrodite, and Lucarne Dolley on Ardmore completed the top five placings.
Galloway and Windermere J'Obei W will now head to the Sydney CDI at the end of April, looking to continue their impressive form and success in the future.