Matt Sampson scores a Christmas win in Mechelen

Wednesday 03 January 2024

Matt Sampson scores a Christmas win in Mechelen

Christmas was over quickly and it was back to work early for riders attending the traditional Mechelen 5* show held in Belgium, between Christmas and New Year.

British riders dominated the 5* Agria 1.40m with Matt Sampson leading the way on MGH Candy Girl.

Forty-five tackled this world ranking speed class with Matt and Isabel Fox’s Sligo Candy Boy x Cruising 10-year-old forging ahead to win by 1.48 seconds. Robert Whitaker steered Caroline Blatchford’s 13-year-old Chatondo (Chacco-Blue x Cartoon) into second place.

Matt posted a double clear and into third in the Leon Melchior Sires of the World with James Davenport’s Daniel. Nine of the 31 starters jumped initial clears over the 1.45m track to access the jump-off, Matt and the Heartbreaker x San Patrignano Mister 15-year-old finishing 1.40 seconds behind the winner, Belgium’s Thibault Philippaerts on Obama De Liniere.

Matt and Daniel again claimed third place in Friday night’s feature 5* 1.55m Grand Prix. Nineteen of the original 43 starters scored a place in the jump-off with Matt and the handsome stallion again proving foot-perfect to finish 1.32 seconds behind the winning time set by Sweden’s Petronella Andersson on Cassina Z. Robert Murphy beat the winner’s time but four faults dropped Hulde G from possible victory down to eighth place.

 
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