Matt Sampson lands the seven-year-old title with a catch ride

Matt Sampson battled against the clock to emerge victorious in the seven-year-old final at the British Young Horse Championships at his first show with Harry Whall’s Spike Z.

Matt was pitted against Carron Nicol in a nail-biting five-horse jump-off, both touting two rides apiece.  Carron opened the proceedings on Nistria V/D Winning Z but was immediately relegated by Matt on first ride Cristo Beech. 

But Carron wrenched the lead back aboard new acquisition the Cabrio Van De Heffinck mare Ginadina PP – another bought from Sovereign Equestrian who also supplied Galerius – but the lead was brief.  Matt found all the shortcuts on the Spartacus/Cantero stallion Spike Z to win with 1.71 sec in hand.

Harry bought Spike as a four-year-old and he has first foals on the floor this year.

“He’s amazing, quite green and only just out of Foxhunter, but he has so much scope,” said Harry.  

The top two also claimed finalist places in the Talentseekers final at Horse of the Year Show.



Donald Whitaker was the only one up for the ‘clear every day’ bonus as last to go with Tom Williams’ Chilli, but it was all over when the first fence fell.




Only two of the 20 starters in the British-bred six-year-old final provided first round clears, George Whitaker going head-to-head with Lauren Edwards.

Lauren went first but hit the second vertical on Breit Star (Breitling LS/Sir Corland), leaving the door open for George.  But he also hit the upright at two, although he quickened up to esdge ahead for the title on Shooting Star – a gelding bred by George’s uncle John Whitaker.

Shooting Star is sired by Voss and out of the Indoctro mare Marianne – previously competed by Joanne Whitaker – and George spotted the talent 12 months ago.

“John came over [to the family farm] for a jump round with several.  Shooting Star had never been to a show but he took my eye.  I asked to buy him later and in the end agreed to buy a half share, but the deal was I get the ride,” said George.

Max Routledge lifted the non British-bred six-year-old championship with Liam Williams’ Memphis V/D Vaart with 1.38 sec to spare in the 10-strong jump-off.

“He’s very straightforward and consistent,” said Max, who meets the Elvis Ter Putte/Up Chiqui gelding at shows and is now planning for the world breeding championships at Lanaken.

Matt jumped Harry Whall’s Happy Fomia (Spartacus/Q-Verdi) into second with Tom Whitaker on Happiness (Untouchable/C Indoctro II) in third.  Megan James finished fourth on Mendocino RF (Zambesi/Papillon Rouge) and Donald Whitaker jumped the scopey Chilli (Colestus/Colorit) into fifth and claimed all the £4,000 clear round bonus as the only horse to come home penalty-free every day.

Helen Rees hit top gear to take the British-bred five-year-old title with Bianca Du Rouet, a Statinus/Balou Du Rouet mare that is connected to this show.

“We bought her mother in foal with Bianca at the Brightwells Sale at this show six years ago,” said Helen, who finds this chestnut mare a feisty one.

“She hot, hot, hot and has to do everything as quick as possible,” said Helen.  “I go at her pace, we argue if I try to slow her down.”

Joe Trunkfield slotted Ivory (Don VHP Z/Cartogran) into second 1.13 sec in arrears with Lorraine Lock’s Artisan I (Cevin Z/Premium De Laubry) in third. 

Maisie Drea outpaced all to take the non British-bred five-year-old final on the consistent and super-careful Cairo Z III.

Fourteen came forward to a hot jump-off but Maisie set off at a relentless gallop to secure the top spot on the Clinissimo Z/Renkum Valentino mare bought a year ago.

“She was actually bred in Lancashire but has a Zangersheide passport,” said Maisie, who also picked up a share of the £4,000 clear every day bonus with six others.

Chloe Reynolds’ final draw effort earned second place with Darjeeling Desir (Mozart Des Hayettes/GabyScion) and Nathan Bull finished fifth on Celesta VD Helle Z (Contadoro Van De Helle/Polidiktus Van De Helle). 

Two British-bred horses claimed a bonus share – Charlotte Flack on Billy Conveyor (Billy Um Bongo x Cordalme) and Laura Robinson’s Millfield Colette (Cornet Obolensky x Clearway) alongside Maisie and Cairo Z III, William Rekert with Claxson Van De Bosweg (Codex I x Carthago), Alex Hempleman with Jammy Dodger II (Vagabond De La Pomme x Heartbreaker), Donald Whitaker on Nero VD Kwade Heyde (Echo Van T Spieveld x Lux Z) and Chloe aboard Darjeeling Desir from the non British-bred section.

Mennell Watson pocketed £2,400 in the eight-year-old and over stallion and mares classes with the consistent Whisper In The Wind.

The pair jumped into fourth in the first of the two classes and took the highest placed stallion award.  And Mennell guided Euro Sport Horse and Helen van Heyningen’s home-bred Cobretti/Mr Majestic 10-year-old to the top in the second competition in a four-horse decider, also claiming the leading stallion award.


Lauren Edwards topped day one’s competition and the top mare award on Andy Doswell’s nine-year-old Ella Sandra G (Zirocco Blue VDL/Emilion).  Charlotte Flack finished second on both occasions with Ashdale Luxara, taking the top mare award on day two.











Two four-year-olds jumped double clear to claim a share of the ‘clear round’ bonus – both British-bred.  Hannah Berryman on the chestnut HGS Joy (Billy Congo/Fan Holland) and Toni Bagley with the bay Luckas (Why Me/Up To Date).

“He’s a quick learner,” said Toni on Luckas.

Hannah acquired the Billy Stud-bred Joy unbroken 12 months ago and the pair also jumped double clear at Hartpury’s young horse championships.


Photos © Jumping Around

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