Four-star eventer Matthew Wright will swap the start box for saucepans as he prepares to compete on Come Dine With Me.
The Nottinghamshire-based rider had a call “out of the blue” from producers of the Channel 4 dinner party game show and is due to start filming later this month.
“I think the producers had been looking at my Twitter and Facebook and saw I liked to cook,” he told H&H.
“I cook every night for my family and I like playing with different flavours.
“I love to try quite adventurous things — I’m big into cooking snails and scallops.”
Matthew is not the first professional rider to whip up a storm in the television kitchen.
In 2010, Burghley winner Oliver Townend went head-to-head with Paralympic gold medal-winning dressage rider Lee Pearson on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook.
Meanwhile para dressage rider Natasha Baker, who won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, cooked a Christmas roast live on television with Gordon Ramsey on 25 December 2012.
Matthew, who has numerous wins and top-10 placings at international level, admitted that he is a “foodie” and has enjoyed meals in Michelin-starred restaurants.
“I would like to think I have a good chance,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think I could try and win it.”
He added he has had “some thoughts” about his menu and will have a few practice sessions ahead of the main event, but plans to “play it by ear”.
A date for the episode has not yet been revealed.
A member of the silver-winning young rider European eventing team in 2002, Matthew made his senior squad debut three years later at the European Eventing Championships at Blenheim Palace.
He has won the CCI2* at Blair Castle three times with Hugginstown and has competed at four-star level multiple times on different horses.
His list of international victories also includes Necarne, Osberton, Punchestown, Ballindenisk, Ballygraffan, Tattersalls, Hartpury and Balcarres Castle.
Eventers on screen
Junior European team member Sam Ecroyd appeared on ITV’s Take Me Out in January.
Sam, who has won four European medals including team gold, moon-walked onto the show to Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman.
He was left with eight girls to pick from before jetting off to the Isle of Fernando’s with Joanna.
- Oliver Townend and Lee Pearson on Ready Steady Cook
- Lee Pearson to star in Come Dine With Me on Channel 4
- Natasha Baker cooks Christmas roast with Gordon Ramsay
“It was an amusing experience and I’m glad I did it,” Sam told H&H at the time.
“Maybe I am a little bit young to be going on a show like this, but I enjoyed it none the less.”