Did you see Matt’s thrilling round in the Speed Derby at Hickstead today – truly incredible riding and a well-deserved win. Hop over to our FB page to see the video!
We were lucky enough to catch up with Matt on the eve of Bolesworth to find out what it was like to get that big win out in Hamburg and his hopes for the rest of 2018! You can read the full interview in the July issue out next week!
The big time beckons for potential owners!
It’s been nearly a year since young Matthew Sampson sang for his place at Bolesworth International show, and what a year he has had; the wins keep mounting up, including the Speed Derby at Hickstead on Top Flight True Carlo owned by Christine spanner.
The successes continued several wins leading up to the Equitop Myoplast Fox Hunter championship at the Horse Of The Year Show on Ebolensky owned by Matt and Rachel Evison, which he won with great style gaining a new sponsor in Equitop Myoplast.
Getting the New Year off to a Winning Start
After a fabulous end to 2017, Matt saw in the New Year at the Liverpool international joining the Mini Majors in the pairs again and winning with his young partner Grace Shudall Hughes. Both were dressed as Super Girl and Matthew added “it was all down to Grace, she was second the previous year at Liverpool International and second at Bolesworth in the summer so her experience shone through”.
Liverpool International is a fantastic show but was dramatically cut short by an awful fire which started in the car-park. No-one was hurt and all horses and riders and the public were evacuated quickly and efficiently much to the fabulous organisation of the officials and emergency services.
Matthew commented “Nina Barbour and her team have worked hard to bring these two major shows to the UK to give people the opportunity to enjoy a great event and give riders a chance to compete at an international level on UK soil, plus it is a fabulous chance for visitors to get up close and personal to International riders, I’m really looking forward to both events again this year”.
February saw Matt and the team travel over to Spain to join the Sunshine Tour where had a win in the seven-year-old title on his own Cristo Beach. An up-coming very talented young horse helped by an equally talented rider.
A Yorkshire Lad
Matt is based at Parklands Equestrian Centre in Aston, just outside Sheffield, where he lives when he’s at home, although as you can imagine with all the competing they are away a lot.
Matt has recently been over to Hamburg but he kept friends, family and his followers up to date through his Facebook page.
Major Win for 2018
Riding David McPherson’s Gloria van Zuuthoeve, Matt started off by finishing 2nd in the World Ranking Hamburg Derby qualifier. They then went on to win the Hamburg Derby, one of the most prestigious events on the showjumping calendar. Currently 246th in the world rankings, Matt is the first British rider to win the Hamburg Derby in 29 years, previously it was John Whittaker on Gammon, more recently, Irish rider Billy Twomey in 2016, who managed to break the German-rider domination. Irish rider Eddie Macken is the only rider to have won both the Hamburg Derby and the Hickstead Derby in the same year.
Matt would love to complete the year with the double, winning the Hickstead Derby. You’d have to look back through to history books to find Marion Mould and the amazing Stroller, who, measuring in at only 14.1hh was the only pony to win the Hickstead Derby in 1967 and the Hamburg Derby in 1970.
The Horsey Life for me!
Anybody who knows Matt or is associated with him in anyway will understand what this win means to him. Having left school to pursue a career with horses and he has gone on to prove it was absolutely the right decision, from firstly learning to ride at Parklands Equestrian Centre, he progressed to Pony Club, then to jumping for Great Britain in the Juniors and Young Riders to now making his own way through the ranks.
His talent continues to grow, there is no doubting he is a great character and is so well liked amongst the other riders, but it doesn’t end there. When not competing, Matt also helps out with the Stubbing Court Student Apprenticeships and also manages to squeeze in teaching other riders into his very busy schedule.
Matt has a very supportive team around him, his Mum Ruth and Dad Robert have been supporting him continually following him abroad whenever they can. His grooms are a great support, his driver and friend Barry Hunter is always on call. For Matt it’s all about the team, together with his sponsors and owners, they make up a great part of his support system. He appreciates every one of them and says “it’s difficult to get on without a great support team of owners, grooms and sponsors as they are an intricate part of my success story.”
Matt is always on the look-out for new owners and sponsors. Matt can be found via his Facebook page Matt Sampson Showjumper or in person at an event. #
We managed to catch up with Matt at home at Parklands for a quick Q&A
Quick Question Round!
Q: Has it sunk in yet winning the prestigious Hamburg Derby?
A: It’s absolutely incredible to have won such an historic class, the show in Hamburg is amazing and the atmosphere of the crowd is like being in a football stadium. My horse, Gloria, was unbelievable and couldn’t have tried any harder for me, it’s still quite hard to believe it happened and it’s a day that we will never forget.
Q: What are your plans for the rest of this year?
A: I’m really trying to build up a team of horses to reach 5* level over the next year or so and short-term we are heading for Hickstead for both the Speed Derby and the big Derby so fingers crossed we can have a good show.
Q: How do you feel about being called the ‘Singing Showjumper’ following your Bolesworth moment and then the Road to Hickstead video with Joe Whittaker and backing singers Nigel Coupe, Will Funnell and Harriet Nuttall?
A: I don’t think I’m ever going to win X factor, but it did the trick and hopefully entertained a few people along the way.
Q: Is there’s one piece of advice you could pass on to up-coming riders as to whether we compete or not?
A: We all know that horses are a good leveller, I think it’s important to be patient, never give up and stay focused on what you are trying to achieve.
For more information on sponsoring or owner opportunities with Matt, you can reach him at www.facebook.com/Matt Sampson Showjumper. Matt is very kindly sponsored by Equitop Myoplast, Harcour, CWD and Filli Fabbri Boots.