Melissa Galloway’s dominance of Australasian dressage has continued with wins at the Australian Championships in the FEI CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, setting a New Zealand record, and taking out the FEI CDI-W Grand Prix.
The Marlborough rider and her beloved Joey – Windermere J’Obei W – scored an eye-watering 79.865% to convincingly win the freestyle by 3.255% ahead of multi Olympian Mary Hanna aboard Ivanhoe, with David McKinnon and Forlan in third on a personal best 76.485%.
Melissa’s score was a personal best and surpassed her own New Zealand record of 77.035% set in Taupo in February. She and Joey won the FEI CDI-W Grand Prix on 73.152% the day before on 73.152% with Mary second on 72.413% and Jessica Dertell on Cennin third on 71.587%.
Her week in Boneo would be one she and her family would “treasure” for the rest of their lives. “I just don’t have words,” she said after the freestyle. “I have about a million people to thank!”
But right at the top of that list was Joey. “He just keeps getting better and better and I don’t even know where it comes from,” she said. “He has the biggest heart and I seriously never have a bad ride on him. He is the horse of a lifetime for me and it makes me incredibly emotional thinking about what he has done for me and my life and my career.”
Her parents were there to watch their daughter shine brightly. She also competed on her homebred Windermere Integro, winning the Prix St George on 71.421%, placing fourth in the Intermediate I on 69.853%, and sixth in the Intermediate Freestyle on 72.317%.
Melissa is New Zealand’s highest athlete on the Olympic Group G rankings in fifth spot, with Wendi Williamson in eighth.
By Diana Dobson -HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ