He’s a hugely talented rider and, at HOYS on Friday, 19-year-old Matthew Sampson was crowned the best of his generation by taking the young riders championship of Great Britain with his own Chianti Classico.
Risking it all in a nine-strong jump-off, the Sheffield-based rider had the crowd gasping and cheering in equal measures at his daring angles and turn backs.
His 11-year-old bay gelding turned inside out to oblige and the pair came home over 3sec faster than his nearest rival and only other double clear, Joe Clayton with Saveur.
“It was an open field and it was a typically good track,” said an ecstatic Matthew. “This is one of my biggest successes to date — it’s the one the young riders want to win.”
Another exciting young rider is 14-year-old Jasmine Cain who headed the 25-strong Blue Chip Feed Balancer Pony Newcomers Championship with her bouncy Welsh section D Tireve Midnight Express.
“I can’t believe it’s over — I want to ride again,” she said.
North Yorkshire-based Paul Barker took the international HOYS.co.uk Cup speed class on the hugely versatile Anderida Anica with whom he is also successful in puissance classes.
“I always knew she would be useful,” said Paul of the 12-year-old mare, riding here after earning a wild card at Arena UK.
The other two international classes on Friday went to overseas visitors to HOYS.
New Zealand rider Samantha McIntosh, who lives near Cologne, Germany, took the Zinc Management Trophy with Loxley 38 — riding in her first indoor show of the year — while Belgium’s Dirk Demeersman (Phaline K) headed the Dick Turpin Stakes.
Stay in touch with all the action from HOYS on Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss H&H’s 17-page special report, on sale next Thursday