It’s countdown time for New Zealand’s top dressage combination Melissa Galloway and Windermere J’obei W who over the next couple of days start their  journey to the FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Saudi Arabia.

The Marlborough combo, who powered from 152 to 33rd in the April FEI world rankings have had a near perfect prep for the final. “Joey is feeling really good and has continued to make his adjustment back to the European life really well,” she says.

They returned to their Netherlands base at Van Olst Horses in January and have continued to impress with an eighth in the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the final qualifier of the Western European League.Her parents, sister Sarah and husband Lachy fly with her on Wednesday, with Joey flying on Thursday. “We get there beforehand to make sure things are set up and ready for his safe arrival.”

Joey is flying early on Friday morning with world no.3 Lottie Fry’s Evandale and his groom on a chartered horse flight of other world cup Dressage and jumping horses. “It is very nice to know they will be incredibly well looked after during their flights. We are all very excited and can’t wait to make the most of this incredible opportunity and experience.”

Windermere J’obei W ready for his trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo Supplied by Melissa Galloway

For Melissa, it is another dream come true. “It still doesn’t quite feel real yet!” She’s hugely grateful for the support from everyone back home and across the world, who continue to support them on their journey. “It means everything to us and we will be giving it our all to make New Zealand proud.”

The World Cup Final will be the Middle East’s biggest ever equestrian event and features 17 combinations from the four leagues around the globe. Melissa and Joey won two of the three rounds in the Pacific League, taking the CDI-W at Boneo in Australia and the final at Takapoto.

The horse inspection is on Monday (April 15). Melissa and Joey will have their warm-up and training session on Tuesday (April 16) followed by the Grand Prix on Wednesday afternoon (April 17), and the Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday evening (April 19).

The jumping and the dressage World Cup Finals are being held at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

WHAT: FEI Dressage World Cup Final
WHEN: April 16-20, 2024
WHERE: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Click here for MORE INFO
Click here LIVESTREAM FEI TV via ClipMyHorse

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison