This week top showjumpers from across the world are competing at Bolesworth International Horse Show in Cheshire (14-18 June), but for one rider, securing entry to the competition was a bit of a song and dance.
British showjumper Matt Sampson literally sang his way into the event, serenading founder and president of the show, Nina Barbour, in a series of videos on social media in a bid to secure a place.
Matt wrote and performed the catchy song before uploading it to Facebook.
The video, which has been viewed more than 80,000 times and has received thousands of likes, paid off with Nina offering Matthew Sampson a wildcard place at the show.
A wildcard is a one off place offered to competitors in exceptional circumstances who have previously not qualified for a place.
Matt then published another video thanking Nina for the invitation.
“Since being awarded CSI4* status, we are now drawing international attention, with exceptional competitors from all over the world vying for a place at the show,” said Ms Barbour.
“As such, competition is steep and getting a place is never guaranteed. However, Matthew’s unique approach and obvious dedication to competing really made him stand out and as such, I was delighted to be able to offer the wildcard entry to someone who so obviously deserved to be given a chance.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”
Last night (15 June), Matt thanked Nina by singing live to her on a catwalk at the show to the audience’s delight (see video, above).
A video of the performance shared on Horse & Hound Facebook page has been viewed more than 119,000 times.