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Sampson flies high in the Turkish Airlines London Grand Prix

Tuesday, 20 December 2022
CSI5*-W London International Horse Show 2022

Photo © London International Horse Show Great Britain's Matthew Sampson celebrates his victory in the Turkish Airlines London Grand Prix with Ebolensky. Photo © London International Horse Show.


Edited press release from London International Horse Show



The 2022 London International Horse Show drew to a close with The Turkish Airlines London Grand Prix. The 1.60m competition produced a series of spell-binding performances as the riders vied for a share of the €125,000 prize fund. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s challenging course proved to be a tough test of agility and precision, with only four of the 31 starters going through to the jump-off. 

Great Britain’s Matthew Sampson, who has taken the North American circuit by storm over the last few months, produced a faultless round in front of the delighted home crowd, posting a time to beat of 31.88 seconds aboard Ebolensky (Clinton x Heartbreaker). Sweden’s Angelie von Essen on Cochella (Cartani 4 x Lord) and Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca on Curcuma Il Palazzetto (Casall x Lord) both accrued four faults trying to beat Sampson’s time, leaving Denis Lynch as the only remaining rider to go. The Irish rider, who has won some of the biggest classes in the world, was riding the eight-year-old Dark Chocolate (Casall x Acodetto 2) in the horse’s first ever 5* Grand Prix, however Sampson’s round proved too difficult to match, with Lynch finishing on eight faults. 

A delighted Sampson said: “It’s absolutely incredible, honestly I can’t believe it, it’s a dream come true. It’s special for my owners, the Evison family too. They’ve had Ebolensky from a foal and I’ve ridden her since she was seven. She grew up in England and has been in England for most of her career, so to win this class is absolutely amazing.”

The 32-year-old continued: “You see all the best riders from around the world here: for us, especially being British, it’s the best place there is. Competing here is what we dream of when we’re growing up and to actually win is unbelievable.”

Photo © London International Horse Show Julien Epaillard and Vitalhorse Ebbadya Hero won The Mistletoe Stakes. Photo © London International Horse Show.

The highlight of the afternoon performance came from the 1.45m Mistletoe Stakes. With 24 of the world’s best horse and riders in the field, the class was held over one round with the fastest clear set to take home the spoils. The first clear came from second to go, Max Kühner, who with EIC Julius Caesar (Couleur Rubin x Cancara) set the pace for the others to follow. Next to go was the victor of Saturday's Snowflake Stakes, Marcus Ehning, who had a foot perfect round but could not quite match the time of Kühner. 

Britain’s Jodie Hall McAteer continued her sensational form to produce a clear with Kimosa van het Kritrahof (Chatman x Eros Platiere) in the time of 58.80 seconds – over 10 seconds faster than the leader at the time. With the pressure now on the rest of the riders, mistakes came from some of the most decorated athletes in the sport including Shane Breen, John Whitaker and Kevin Staut. It was France’s Julien Epaillard, winner of over 70 international classes this year, who together with Vitalhorse Ebbadya Hero (Erco van T Roosakker x Wandor vd Mispelaere), flew around the Bernardo Costa Cabral designed course to come home nearly a second faster than Hall McAteer. Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Gerrit Nieberg, victors of some of the most prestigious Grand Prix this year both tried to catch Epaillard’s time but were unsuccessful. Last to go was Joseph Stockdale, who bought forward the striking bay Bingo du Chateau (Quaprice Bois Margot x Royal Feu) and sped around the course to come home 0.05 seconds faster than the Frenchman – but heartbreak came for the young Brit when the last fence fell. 

The world no. three said: “It is incredible to win here – the atmosphere is incredible and the spectators have been amazing. My horse was fantastic – I have had a great year, and this is a great way to be finishing up.”

Following a string of consistent performances throughout the week – which included finishing third in The Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM – Jodie Hall McAteer was crowned Leading Rider of the Show.

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