Matt Sampson flies to a win in Opglabbeek


Matt Sampson was in flying form on the final day in Opglabbeek, Belgium, with victory in the 2* 1.45m grand prix on Valse De Pepinvast.

A particularly testing track saw only six survive from the original 55 starters to go forward into the jump-off but Matt was on a mission. He guided the L’Arc De Triomphe Bois Margot/Kouglof II into the top spot at the gallop to win by 1.55 sec. British-based Donny Janciauskas riding for Lithuania was also in round two on the Scendix nine-year-old Cool Scendy, four faults dropping them into fourth place. Trevor Breen was one of four riders to come home on one time fault in round one and took 10th on Escapde H.

Matt almost made it a double in the 31-horse six-year-old 1.20m but had to settle for second on Ivory, the Don VHP Z/Cartogran mare almost two sec behind the pace in the 12-strong decider. Chris Franks on Coeur De Lion and Emily Sage with I Am A Harley also returned double clears for fifth and sixth.

Chris was penalty-free in the 51-entry seven-year-old on Warrior Queen (Warrior/Unbelievable Darco) to take seventh 4.35 sec off the pace while Sam Hutton on Goodwill V/D Coefering and Donny aboard Cool Quarz posted clear and four to take 10th and 12th in the 15-horse jump-off.

William Maxwell topped the 1* 1.25m with Pretty Little Liar, the Indoctro/Emilion 12-year-old mare holding off all 37 challengers to win by 1.36 sec. Amy Westcott-Allen slotted Pembrey Condors Diamond into fourth in the 14-strong decider and Joe Clayton dropped to 13th with eight faults on Heather.

Joe Clayton guided the 11-year-old Cally V into fifth in the 2* 1.40m accumulator 3.82 sec off the pace. James Whitaker on Glenavadra Brilliant and Joe Davison with Vilenco provided maximum scores for 11th and 12th while Matt dropped five points to finish 13th on Cristo Beech.

A double clear in the 15-horse five-year-old 1.10m two-phase earned Emily Sage and the Centadel mare Centino Blue TW seventh place.

In Lanaken, Belgium, Carron Nicol claimed second in the 3* 1.30m two-phase with Nistria VD Winning Z, the Nonstop/Cassini eight-year-old mare finishing 1.93 sec behind the winner in the 61-strong class. Charlotte Horne guided Dynamic III into seventh and Chloe Winchester picked up one time fault in the second phase for 18th on Quasmo CK Z.

Charlotte qualified for the jump-off of the under 25 1.45m with a first round clear alongside six others in the 41-strong class, but a rail down in round two put the Verdi nine-year-old Ferdi M down to fourth place. A fast four in round one put Isaac Hall into ninth with Conrad.

Only five from an initial entry of 60 reached the jump-off of the 3* 1.50m including Guy Williams on Cicero II, but eight faults in round two dropped the Cicero Z Van Paemel/Guidam 12-year-old to fourth. David Simpson came home on four faults in round one to take 16th with Jenson 55.

David guided Balloon Cruise into fifth in the 62-horse six-year-old 1.30m speed, the Balloon/Cruising mare 2.42 sec off the pace. A steadier clear earned Carron and Damian 18th spot.

David picked up 12th in the 84-strong 1* 1.20m speed on Viktor almost five sec behind the pace. Michaela Thompson jumped clear on both Birmena and Cabela for 15th and 16th.

Text and Photos © Jumping Around

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