Melody Matheson and her 11-year-old mare Cortaflex Graffiti MH headed home a small but quality field at the first grand prix of the season, held today at the Feilding Spring Show.
Six started the class but the Havelock North rider steered Graffiti, who is owned by Angela Miller and Judith Matthews, to the only clear in the field.
“This is a great start,” said Melody. “She was really good, easy and on form.” The combination, who also won the 1.3m-1.4m class on the opening day, recently attended National Squad training at Takapoto Estate and Melody says it certainly helped.
The combination were fourth to go in the field and came home clear in 82.41 seconds, a time only bettered by fifth-placed Daniel Webb (Hunterville) and WSH Centaur who paid for their speed with two rails. Melody felt the forward-riding Chris Rogers-designed course was bang on. “I did add down the first one but the next three I didn’t,” she said. “We got there and it was really good. She just got right into gear. It wasn’t a big field today but everyone was on top horses.” Both Melody’s wins at the show were in the indoor.
Today, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Central Park were second on four faults from the opening round with Robert Steele (Dannevirke) and LT Holst Bernadette third with five penalties and Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) aboard LT Holst Andrea fourth on six faults.
Melody says their focus this season is on Graffiti’s jumping and nothing else. “We didn’t do the breeding stuff this season and she’s had a lot of work at home, which has helped. We’ve also moved our base to Angela’s place which is excellent.”
Her sights are on the POLi Payments World Cup Series. “It would be good to get those World Cups before Christmas sorted with double clears.”
Melody juggles her riding with job as a banker and can’t wait for daylight saving to start. “It is a casual job but I have been working full time hours at the moment.”
Ten started the Country TV Pony Grand Prix with just two, both of whom were tied on four faults apiece, coming back to jump-off. Georgie Wilson (Taupo) and her 15-year-old appaloosa gelding Showtym Boss led the way with their four fault round in 50.36 seconds with Lily Moore (Havelock North) aboard the very seasoned and successful 15-year-old Fun House coming in for second in 56.07 seconds and also with four faults.
Horse Grand Prix: Melody Matheson (Havelock North) Cortaflex Graffiti MH 1, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Central Park 2, Robert Steele (Dannevirke) LT Holst Bernadette 3, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 4, Daniel Webb (Hunterville) WSH Centaur 5, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Gold Locks 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Georgie Wilson (Taupo) Showtym Boss 1, Lily Moore (Havelock North) Fun House 2, Charlotte Sowry (Palmerston North) Glowbug 3, Annie Moffett (Napier) Tane Mahuta 4, Dylan Bibby (Onga Onga) Daisy Patch 5, Annie Moffett (Napier) Piripi 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series: Kaleigh Kent (Otane) Double J Sponge Bob Square Pants 1, Ali Hilton (Upper Hutt) Willowridge Surprise 2, Vanessa Brownie (Otaki) Saltaire Andy’s Boy 3, Hannah Steens (Rotorua) Unique QT 4, Emily Kozlowski (Carterton) Double J Wilma 5, Anna Stephen (Masterton) Lollipop SP 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke Rich as Roses 1, Sarah West (Matamata) Oaks Centurian 2, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 3, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota 4, Francesca Corich van der Bas (Paraparaumu) LDS Cardo 5.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series: Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) Kapattack 1, Francesca Corich van der Bas (Paraparaumu) LDS Lavanda 2, Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Barmaid 3, Anneke van Rooyen (Taumarunui) My Sassy Cat 4, Dylan Bibby (Onga Onga) Wenrose Vertigo 5, Amy Gibbs (Marlborough) Eye Wonder 6.
Full results can be found at www.equestrianentries.co.nz .
By Diana Dobson
September 20, 2020