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Matthew Sampson and Ebolensky win the CSI4* 1.55m Horseware Big Tour Grand Prix at the Sunshine Tour

Sunday, 12 February 2023
CSI4* Sunshine Tour 2023

Photo © MacKenzie Clark Matthew Sampson and Ebolensky won Sunday's CSI4* 1.55m Horseware Big Tour Grand Prix at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. Photo © MacKenzie Clark.


Edited press release from the Sunshine Tour



Great Britain's Matthew Sampson and Ebolensky (Clinton x Heartbreaker) won Sunday's CSI4* 1.55m Horseware Big Tour Grand Prix at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. 

The CSI4* 1.55m Horseware Big Tour Grand Prix closed off the first week of competition at the tour and had some very good riders in it – including Steve Guerdat, Martin Fuchs and Pedro Veniss.

Over Uliano Vezzani's thirteen-fence track in the stunning David Broome arena, nine of the 49 horse-and-rider combinations in the Grand Prix managed to answer all the questions asked. In the jump-off, only two of the nine that returned kept a clean sheet – and fastest was Sampson and his 14-year-old mare, with a time of 39.68. Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) and In Time (Biscayo x Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve) took the runner-up position, after stopping the clock on 40.94 seconds. Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Commissar Pezi (Commissario x Böckmann's Lord Pezi) had the fastest time in the jump-off – 38.67 – but with four faults, the two had to settle for the third place. Also on four faults, in 39.21, Gilles Thomas (BEL) and Elfra van Beek Z (El Salvador x Vagabond de La Pomme) took the fourth place, followed by Emeric George (FRA) and Diesel GP du Bois Madame (Cassius x Heartbreaker) in fifth – also they on four faults.

“She’s an amazing horse, we’ve had her since she was 7 years old and I brought her here when she was 8 and she has been here most years since,” Sampson said of Ebolensky. “She won the Grand Prix in London, and this is the next big Grand Prix since then. She’s just an incredible horse, she loves the facilities here and the grass rings. I’m very lucky to have her.”

Photo © MacKenzie Clark Matthew Sampson and Ebolensky. Photo © MacKenzie Clark.

“I thought it was a really good course; it wasn’t massively huge but it was difficult and technical. I think the course builder did a great job,” Sampson said. “Luckily, the jump-off went to plan for me, so, a good day!”

Sampson has been based at the facilities in Montenmedio through the winter season with his partner Kara Chad. “We came here in September and Armando and Teresa and all the team here have just been so welcoming, and made us feel really at home. It has been incredible to be able to use the facilities throughout the winter, it has just been brilliant, so to have a win after the time that we have spent here is just fantastic. I’m really grateful to all my team with all of us working together, I just couldn’t be more happy.”

In the CSI4* 1.50m Medium Grand Prix, jumped in the Hickstead arena, Jana Wargers (GER) took the top honours riding the 10-year-old mare Deesse de Coquerie (Consul Dl Vie Z x Papillon Rouge). Last to go in the jump-off, Wargers snatched the win from Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Valentino (Diamantino x Careful) when being no less than 2.74 seconds faster than the former world no. one. Third place went to Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Viper Z (Vigo D Arsouilles Stx x Grannus), while Doron Kuipers (NED) and I Am Codex (Codex One x Calvaro F.C.) finished fourth and Emiliano Liberati (ITA) fifth with Dooley WV (Ustinov x Orame) – all double clear.

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