They may have been the least experienced of the kiwis making the trip to the CDI4 * at Bawley Point’s Dressage by the Sea, but the twenty six year old from Marlborough with her year NZL warmblood  “Joey” has certainly attracted plenty of attention across the Tasman over the weekend.  Bred by Auckland’s David Woolley, Windermere J O’bei W scored 69.14% in Saturday’s  Grand Prix for third in a sixteen string field and backed it up with a 69.66% for second in today’s Special. The only Australian to have scored better than this truly exciting young nine year Johnson gelding over the first two days of this spectacular event is the evergreen and multi Olympian Mary Hanna and her two lovely European hoses Syriana and Calanta.  It was nail-biting at times today watching the live streaming as the trending scores for the lead oscillated between Mary & Melissa. In the end it was Mary & Syriana by a nose on 70.213% from Melissa on 69.660%.  Melissa was totally happy in spite of what she describes as a “few hairy moments” and had fun riding both tests. This is the first CDI appearance in Australia or New Zealand for the pair, making the results all the more creditable. 

John Thompson and JHT Chemistry (Tommy) also did a superb job in the Grand Prix yesterday for fourth place on 68.478% showing real talent in the canter pirouettes rewarded with up to 8.5. John had the option not to start the horse in today’s Special so decided to give him a test free day. In Europe, riders do not have the option to ride all three tests at a CDI, but outside of Europe it is permitted but not compulsory. John has also been competing Mulawa Performance Horse’s Aber Fontaine MI scoring 79.6% for second place in round one for  the four year olds today.  

Victoria Wall decided prior to the start of the competition not to start Letty Lei in the Special as there is only two days between the double CDI 4* events. She was super pleased with the mare’s  warm up the day before, but didn’t consider she was at her lightfooted best in Saturdays’ Grand Prix. The mare sustained a light bruising to a hind leg on the journey over  and although not showing any lameness, this may have contributed to the horse not wanting to show her usual freedom. 

Following his great performances at Boneo in December, Don Amour MH  is giving Wendi Williamson some expensive inconsistencies in his work, so despite the power and athleticism he has developed, his scores so far reflecting mistakes not quality.  

Holly Leach has had a great show so far with both HP Fresco in the small tour and Sugarloaf Amnesty who won the second round of the seven year old class today on 71.882%  heading off some of Australia’s best youngsters presented by Sheridyn Ashwood, Riley Alexander and Maree Tomkinson  

The Grand Prix Freestyle will be livestreamed from the covered arena tomorrow starting  at 3.15pm NZ time

For full results and livescoring from Willinga Park go to