Melissa Galloway (NZL) – Windermere J’obei W, The Dutch Masters 2024, © DigiShots

Melissa Galloway and Windermere J’obei W have done it again . . . this time New Zealand’s dressage superstar has placed eighth in the CDI-W Freestyle to Music at the Dutch Masters.

The Marlborough combo scored 75.97% in the star-stacked class which was won by Isabell Werth (GER) aboard DSP Quantaz on 85.25%, with Charlotte Fry (GBR) and Everdale second on 82.25%, and Emmelie Scholtens (NED) aboard Indian Rock in third on 82.095%.

The result was all the more extraordinary given it is the first time she has ever ridden a freestyle in Europe. “What a way to do it! I am absolutely ecstatic,” said Melissa. “To place eighth in such a high class field at probably the biggest indoor show in Europe in a World Cup . . . it is overwhelming. To be in the prizegiving amongst all my idols and the people I look up to is so surreal.”

The atmosphere was huge but the Kiwi combo certainly lifted amongst it. “It was a packed crowd with all the lights and the music was so loud. You go from the warm-up through all the trade stands on a big, long walkway and then through a black tunnel and as I was entering the arena, the crowd was still clapping in time to this amazing music and congratulating the last rider.”

The crowd was buzzing and Melissa said it was a matter of ‘just hold it together’.
“Joey was so good. He stayed with me the entire test and we rode it for joy. We rode it to have fun and enjoy it, and we absolutely did. I had the biggest grin on my face when we finished our one time flying changes knowing I had got everything done. We just loved it!”

She was incredibly proud of her horse and adoring be part of the Van Olst team. “To have her parents there was also wonderful. “They were so excited and proud. What a moment!”

The prizegiving had been a lot of fun too. Melissa thanked all those who continued to support her on such an exciting journey. “I am so grateful for that support. The Grand Prix on Friday was a little more trick for us and we were not in our normal swing so it was lovely having so many supportive messages from back home putting me in good spirits for today.”

The result was a huge confidence builder for them as they build to the World Cup final in Saudi.

ESNZ high performance dressage manager Penny Pearce described Melissa as truly “inspirational”. “She really is leading the way,” said Penny. “What she has achieved is amazing. This is a great start for her campaign towards Paris.”


By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison