Jumping to grand prix victory: Matt Sampson and Ebolensky


Matt Sampson finished the MET II autumn tour in Oliva Nova, Spain, on a high with victory in the gold 1.45m grand prix on Rachael Evison’s scopey Ebolensky.

Ten of 63 produced round one clears over course-designer Christian Wiegand’s track with Matt Drawn seventh in the order. Quick, smooth and deceptively fast, Matt eased the stunning nine-year-old mare Ebolensky (Clinton/Heartbreaker) into victory by 0.96 sec.

“I wanted to give her a bit of time going into the double as it was quite short so I planned to go fast over the first three fences and take out one stride out on the final line to the last fence. And it worked out, I was lucky,” said Matt.

“She has recently stepped up to grand prix level, she was second in the grand prix two weeks ago and second in the world ranking class here on Friday. I think she’s something special and I’m aiming towards doing some Nations Cup competitions with her next year.”

William Funnell guided the eight-year-old Billy Diamo (Cevin Z/Andiamo) into fifth four sec in arrears and Mark Armstrong was also double clear for sixth on the Cornet Obolensky/Spartan 12-year-old Areeb OL.

Brits filled the top three places in the 62-horse gold 1.40m speed, Alice Watson galloping ahead on the Cevin Z 13-year-old Billy Lemon to win by 2.32 sec over Matt on the nine-year-old selle Francias mare Valse De Pepinvast. Jamie Wingrove finished third with Ephonie P and Alice also picked up fifth on second ride Mafia. Jane Annett finished eighth and 12th on Hold Up and Billy Du Montois and Jess Dimmock was also clear for 14th on Primo Bella Swan.

Matt was 0.47 sec off the pace to again take second in the gold 1.30m two-phase with the Papillon Rouge 15-year-old Perfect Rouge. Alice claimed third on the Baloubet Du Rouet nine-year-old E Pilotta with Joe Davison fourth on the home-bred Je T’Aime Flamenco/Nabab De Reve eight-year-old Vilenco. Kayleigh Watts on Unex Garcon Du Lui and Lance Whitehouse with Whitesparke Blanko also posted double clears for eighth and ninth.

Claire Beecroft claimed victory in the bronze 1.30m speed with Vanda Cartier, the Lors Z/Rubert R 12-year-old taking the 33-strong class by 2.03 sec. Jasmin Head finished third on the Andiamo seven-year-old Gandi with Andrew Davies in fourth on the Berlin/Indoctro 10-year-old Denver V. Victoria Hewson was also clear on Zenas Flight for eighth spot.

Ronnie Jones scored a one-two in the bronze 1.10m, topping the 20-strong jump-off with the eight-year-old Derawley Lady and taking second aboard the six-year-old Hobalo, 0.62 sec separating the two and finising with more than two sec in hand over the nearest rival. Lauren McCarthy eased Darcy into fourth just ahead of Chris Moorhouse with Handyman. Imogen Beecroft had 2.57 sec in hand over the winning time but four faults dropped Roscoe’s Amour to eighth and Rachael Howell also posted clear and four for 14th on TGF Couleur Gold.

Jo McGlory rode Endarlo into third in the bronze 1.20m speed. The Al Cantino 15-year-old 3.52 sec behind the winner in the 42-strong class. Brits were bunched together with Lucy Wood fourth on Heerdelon, Tom Reilly claimed fifth on Carden Moon Beam, Julie Slade was sixth on Billy Gogo and Romilly Simmons finished seventh with Avicii.

Photos © Jumping Around & 1clicphoto/MET

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