Matt Sampson claims a double win with the small but golden MGH Candy Girl at Jumping Amsterdam

Monday 29 January 2024

Matt Sampson claims a double win with the small but golden MGH Candy Girl at Jumping Amsterdam

Matt Sampson hit form to clock up a victory double with MGH Candy Girl at Jumping Amsterdam’s five-star meeting in The Netherlands.

Matt has always wanted to ride at Jumping Amsterdam and this year he secured a starting ticket to the main event. The pair hit the ground running in the opening Pearlcard Prize over a 1.40m speed track to make Matt’s much-coveted debut at this show a winning one. Forty-two contended and the competition was hot. Matt and Isabel Fox’s Sligo Candy Boy x Cruising 11-year-old edged ahead by the miniscule advantage of 0.01 seconds over Sweden’s Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli on Dyrka Du Cary.

“I hadn’t seen any others riding [the track], but I could leave this course to Candy Girl. She’s a small mare, but golden, always competitive and I can be very fast with her. She won in Mechelen, and at London International, she won one and finished third in another. I can always rely on her,” said Matt.

“I’ve always wanted to ride at Jumping Amsterdam, there are a lot of competitive riders here and the facilities and audience are fantastic.”

Twenty-four hours later, the winning form continued. Sixty-three tackled the 5* 1.45m speed track in the RAI Amsterdam Prize, Matt and Candy Girl streaking ahead of their rivals to record a 1.59 second win. Long-time leader, Germany’s Jana Wargers (Chacco’s Lady) and Ireland’s Denis Lynch (Cornets Iberio) were left trailing in their wake.

“It’s fantastic to win this class, she’s been super-fast for two days, she has a winner’s mentality,” said Matt, on the mare who also has several foals via embryo transfer (ET), including Big Star progeny.

 

Lily Attwood is less than half a second off a win in Oliva Nova

Lily Attwood scooped second place in the world ranking Gold 1.45m with Karibou Horta on the Spring Mediterranean Equestrian Tour [MET] I in Oliva Nova, Spain.

A strong entry of 71 competitors bid for glory over the 3* 1.45m course with Lily coming within half a second of the winning time. Riding Emmy Freeman-Attwood’s Landor S x For Pleasure 14-year-old, she slipped into the runner-up position 0.46 seconds off the pace.

 

Nicole Lockhead Anderson jumps for fun in the sun

Nicole Lockhead Anderson picked up consistent places in the world ranking classes on the Andalucia Pre-Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain.

Tom Williams and Emily Sage’s I Am A Harley made the mark in the first of the 2* 1.45m classes for Nicole. Fifty-six competitors contended this speed class, with Nicole and the game 11-year-old Harley x Otangelo stallion finishing second 0.54 seconds behind the winner, The Netherlands’ Mel Thijssen on Florida Balia NL.

Saturday’s 1.45m 24 hours later was also a speed class as Emily Sage’s Vogue TW stepped up for Nicole, the Vivant De Heffinck x Conthargos eight-year-old mare proving 1.62 seconds off the winning time for third.

 

William Funnell is in the money in Sharjah

William Funnell guided Equine America Billy Picador into third in the 4* Longines Challenge at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, United Arab Emirates.

Seventy-eight competitors came forward over the 1.45m speed course with William and the 12-year-old Billy Mexico x Andiamo mare finishing 2.79 seconds behind the winner, Latvia’s Kristaps Neretnieks on Palladium KJV.

 

Photo: Matt Sampson and MGH Candy Girl. Credit: Jumping Amsterdam

 
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