Melody Matheson rides Cortaflex Giulia MH in the 5yr old class, National Young Horse Show 2020, Hastings, Friday, December 11, 2020. Copyright: KAMPIC / Sarah Lord

A feisty, sharp and very promising youngster has convincingly taken out the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series.

Cortaflex Giulia MH and Melody Matheson (Havelock North) took the series before the final, finishing 18 points ahead of Amy McMullan (Timaru) aboard Pure Cascade. Melody’s bay Hanoverian mare, who is by Graf Top and out of a Grosvenor mare, has been in fine form this season, also winning the North Island and Young Horse Championship five-year-old crowns.

“She is very little, sharp and quite an interesting one,” says Melody. “She is very feisty and just loves a jump-off – honestly she is up for anything and will jump anything in front of her.”

Melody first sat on the horse as a three-year-old, who was bred by Judith Matthews of Matthews Hanoverians, but it wasn’t until a year later she joined her string. “She is fun to ride and not like a dorky young horse can be. She does have her quirks but is fun in the ring.”

Despite the solid results, Melody says the two are still working each other out. “She is still young. She has a really good technique so I think she will jump bigger in the future – regardless of her size.”

Melody admits she didn’t really expect such great results in Giulia’s first season. “She hadn’t quite figured things out at the beginning but I put her into some show hunter at the Gisborne A&P Show and I think that really helped as she has won every five-year-old start since. She has a lot going on in her little brain and show hunter seems to help chill her out a little. It makes her think about things.”

Having a mare with such a sharp brain could be both a help and a hindrance. “I am really pleased with her. She has definitely exceeded my expectations.”

Melody talks to Butch Thomas for advice, trains with Jeff McVean and does dressage with Kallista Field. “The dressage definitely helps. It gets them more ridable between fences and makes them stronger in their bodies too.”

Glistening Waters Showjumping Championships 2021, Solway Showgrounds, Masterton, Saturday, April 10, 2021 Copyright Photo: KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall

Melody and Angela also have a rising four-year-old full sister to Giulia and a half-brother. “Graf Top is the sire of (my World Cup jumper) Cortaflex Graffiti MH and is a good jumping sire.”

Giulia will have a break after Series’ Finals and Melody is hopeful the mare will come back bigger and more mature for her six-year-old season.

In the grand final, Jesse Linton (Hastings) steered Tanya Hansen’s Ngahiwi Specter to victory in a very speedy jump-off. The class was run in steady rain with 11 coming back for the jump-off. Jesse and Ngahiwi Specter were double clear in 42.78 seconds with Anneke van Rooyen (Taumarunui) and Awaroa Ginger Kiss second in 44.5 and Nicki Booth (Masterton) and Angelina ECPH third in 44.92 seconds. The top five were all double clear.

Series winner Melody and Giulia had a rail in the opening round.


Results –

East Coast Performance Horses Series: Melody Matheson (Havelock North) Cortaflex Giulia MH (by Graf Top out of a Grosvenor mare) 70 points 1, Amy McMullan (Timaru) Pure Cascade (by Cassiano) 52 points 2, Ike Baker (Hawke’s Bay) Double J Graduate (by Double J Repicharge) and Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Typhoon (by Eurosport Centavos) 50 points =3, Tanya Hansen (Taranaki) and Jesse Linton (Hastings) Ngahiwi Spector (by Ngahiwi Cardento) 44 points 5, Ash Hart (Hastings) Kiwi Royal (by Cartel) 42 points 6.


East Coast Performance Horses Grand Final: Jesse Linton (Hastings) Ngahiwi Spector (by Ngahiwi Cardento) 1, Anneke van Rooyen (Taumarunui) Awaroa Ginger Kiss (by Silverstone VDL, out of Mistyor) 2, Nicki Booth (Masterton) Angelina ECPH (by Corofino II out of Angelica Pickles, by Voltaire II) 3, Georgina Dormer (Christchurch) Google NZPH (by Orlando) 4, Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Typhoon (by Eurosport Centavos, out of Double J Breeze) 5, Kim Best (Hawke’s Bay) PHS Armando (by Andretti) 6.


For full series results, head to

For full class results, head to


By Diana Dobson
12 April 2021