Hastings showjumper Melody Matheson has started the season how she hopes to continue. She and Graffiti MH headed home a very strong field in the Equissage Horse Grand Prix this afternoon at the Central Districts Showjumping Spring Classic Show being held at the CD Equine Park in Foxton.

Fifteen started the class with seven through to the jump-off where the top six were all double clear. Melody was third to go and came home in 40.18 seconds. Second placed Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Gold Locks stopped the clock at 41.35 with Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) and Eros K right behind them in 42.36 and Daniel Webb (Hunterville) on Cardo also clear in 42.54 and Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) aboard her home-bred Resolution crossing the flags in 43.98.

“The main thing I want to do this season is go faster and clear and I have been trying to get that done,” said Melody. “Today it was a big jump-off, so it was cool to go clear and fast.”

But the day wasn’t as smooth as she would have liked. Melody fell off her six-year-old Enya MH earlier in the day and was a bit sore . . . nothing though that would stop her starting Graffiti in the grand prix.

The Hawke’s Bay combo have had three grand prix starts this season for two wins and a third. “Next for us will be the Hawke’s Bay World Cup Show and we’ll be aiming to go double clear there too.”

She figures the nine-year-old mare has done a lot of growing up over the winter. “She was just perfect in the jump-off today – I am really pleased.”

In the Country TV Pony Grand Prix class Isabella Hibell (New Plymouth) and the well-performed Pioneer Jade were the only clears in the opening round, giving them a comfortable win. Four faulter Chantelle Smith (Palmerston North) and Finch filled second place with Luke Myers (Marton) and Te Urewera Magic coming in for third in the eight-strong field.


 Results –

Equissage Canterbury Equestrian Horse Grand Prix Series: Melody Matheson (Hastings) Graffiti MH 1, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Gold Locks 2, Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) Eros K 3, Daniel Webb (Hunterville) Cardo 4, Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) Resolution 5, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 6.


Country TV Prebble Equestrian Pony Grand Prix Series: Isabella Hibell (New Plymouth) Pioneer Jade 1, Chantelle Smith (Palmerston North) Finch 2, Luke Myers (Marton) Te Urewera Magic 3, Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) Delta La Camouflage 4, Tara Gower (Ohura) Ngahiwi Roany Pony 5, Chantelle Smith (Palmerston North) My Hummingbird 6


FMG Norwood Farm Machinery Young Rider Series: Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota 1, Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) Ngahiwi Cruise 2, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 3, Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) On the Point Eve 4, Ike Baker (Pautahanui) Hawkesdale Mahe 5, Nicholas O’Leary (Wanganui) Obeone Kanobe 6.


Dunstan HorseFeeds and Equifibre Jen Hamilton Pro Amateur Rider Series: Emily Fraser (Palmerston North) Kiwi Sunray 1, Louise Bowie (Pahiatua) Kiwi Hammer 2, Laura Knight (Palmerston North) Aria 3, Amanda Illston (Masterton) Iguazu 4, Emily Fraser (Palmerston North) Voila 5, Bryce Newman (Bulls) Bates Game Keeper 6.


Hinterland Jen Hamilton Amateur Rider Series: Marcus Rose (Dannevirke) Kaipara Hold Up 1, Jo Andrews (Otaki) Ecxtacy 2, Laine Cameron (Northcote) Pastrana 3, Amelia Shotter (Havelock North) Dallas NZPH 4, Holly Dravitzki (Stratford) Classic Déjà vu 5, Vanessa Brownie (Otaki) Saltaire Andys Boy 6.


East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Eye Catcher NZPH 1.


Mitavite Speedi-Beet Six-Year-Old Series: Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Clearview, Kim Best (Hastings) LT Holst Teacher’s Pet, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Sun Flake and Daniel Webb (Hunterville) Constellation =1.


ESNZ Canterbury Equestrian Seven-Year-Old Series: Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Central Park 1, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Cadenza NZPH 2, Heloise Tolo (Ohariu Valley) Can’t Touch This 3, Dirk Waldin (Havelock North) Good Time 4, Amanda Illston (Masterton) Iguazu 5, Anna Trent (Otaki) Numero Uno Xtreme 6.


Dunstan HorseFeeds and Equifibre Farmlands Junior Rider Series: Ally Carson (Putaruru) Whiorau Ritchie 1, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 2, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke Rich As Roses 3, Parys Marshall (New Plymouth) Kiwi Jet 4, Alexandra Mitchell (Wellington) Sir Arthur 5, Jessica Todd (Wellington) Cavallo 6.


By Diana Dobson