Melissa Galloway and Windermere J’Obie W have this morning danced their way to 10th place in the FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Fifteen of the world’s best progressed through to the Grand Prix Freestyle this morning where Melissa and Joey scored 73.807%, with Swede Patrik Kittel taking his first ever World Cup Final crown aboard Touchdown on 81.661%. It couldn’t have been closer at the top of the leaderboard, with Nanna Skodborg Merrald (DEN) aboard Blue Hors Don Olymbrio second on 81.429% and Isabell Werth (GER) on DSP Quantaz in third on 81.404%.

The final wasn’t without drama with Grand Prix winner Lottie Fry (GBR) and Evandale – who are also Melissa’s stable mates – eliminated under the blood rule. They later reported the horse had been checked by both the FEI vet team and their own vet, and neither could find any sign of a cut or abrasion in the mouth.

But all the Kiwi eyes were on Melissa who just two days earlier placed 11th in the Grand Prix to earn a place in the freestyle.

“I am just counting my blessings,” said the rider from Marlborough “that I am here with a sound, happy, healthy horse who always gives his all for me every single day. It makes me incredibly emotional when I think of what Joey has done for me and continues to do. I just love him to bits and to think we just finished 10th in our first World Cup Final is unreal.”

The entire experience had exceeded all her expectations and would go down as one of the most incredible shows she had ever had the opportunity to compete at. “I am so grateful to my family who are here supporting me and to everyone back in New Zealand and around the world who follow and supports us.”

She was particularly happy with the “harmony and softness” she and Joey continue to develop. The combo have a couple of days of relaxing before flying back to their base in The Netherlands on Monday.


By Diana Dobson – HP Medial Liaison
Photos by Hippo Foto Media – Dirk Caremans