Shannon Galloway has ridden the highs and lows of the world of horses with her former racehorse Day Walker, but today it all came right, with a very emotional win in the NRM CCI3*-L Championship.
The Hamilton rider held her nerve and rode a beautiful final showjumping round, finishing all clear with just .4 of a time penalty added to their tally to finish on 35. Vicky Browne-Cole (Waiuku) and Cutting Edge placed second on 39.6 with Monica Oakley (Taupo) and Good Timing in third on 44.3. The only clear round inside time came from Kate Fleming (Pauatahanui) and Goldstone Hawk.
Shannon was overcome as the realisation of the win sunk in. “What a weekend,” she said.
She’s had Day Walker for six years. “He is super bold, with a great brain, and I thought if I could contain that, he would be amazing.”
History says she was bang on the money, but it hasn’t been plain sailing. Following their 4* run at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show, the horse was so incredibly sore with a mystery illness that Shannon wondered if they would ever compete again. “I was resigned to the fact that he would be a very annoying paddock ornament and he is so annoying when he isn’t in work.”
Thanks to a “massive” effort by many, the horse is back stronger than ever. Their first start back was in March. But before then they had another hiccup when Day Walker got a shock off an electric fence and kicked Shannon who hobbled to the house where 12-year-old son Luke took control. She ended up with 13 stitches in her head.
“Dramas always happen when (husband) Rowan is not home!”
But all that was ancient history today when she won the 3* championship. “I knew in the showjumping I just had to ride what I had and he was so settled, rideable and adjustable. He really knows his job.”
Ringside to watch the victory were her sons Luke and Alex, as well as husband Rowan.
“He is just an amazing horse,” she said of the 13-year-old. “Horses can be heartbreaking. I think this win justifies missing a lot of the kids’ stuff. You always question yourself, that you are doing this for the right reasons. As long as he feels great and I have done the best by him. To win is just the icing on the cake. I am just elated! He had been so broken a year ago.”
Their dressage at the NZ3DE was a personal best at 31 penalty points and they added just 3.6 time in the very challenging cross country that saw only three combinations clear and inside time and half the field fall by the wayside. It was a very tough class that saw just 15 of the original 32 starters make it through to the showjumping test.
Shannon, sponsorship and marketing manager for Cycling New Zealand, is trained by Sarah Broughton and Vaughn Jefferis, and is also an ESNZ Eventing board member. Day Walker is an Australian thoroughbred who didn’t start is sport horse career until he was seven.
NRM CCI3*-L Championship: Shannon Galloway (Hamilton) Day Walker 35 1, Vicky Browne-Cole (Waiuku) Cutting Edge 39.6 2, Monica Oakley (Taupo) Good Timing 44.3 3, Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Coup Perfectly Done 47.1 4, Kelli Frewin (Hawke’s Bay) Phoenician Zatalk 51.8 5.
For full results, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz