Rolex Grand Slam Rider Interview: Matthew Sampson

Matthew Sampson. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Edited Press Release

You’ve had some amazing successes here at Spruce Meadows – what makes it such a special place to compete at?

I came here for the first time last year and then again this year for the Summer Series, which has been fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to win two 5* Grands Prix with two different horses. The horses just grow here and the facilities are the best in the world, so I’m just very grateful to be able to ride at this show.

You and Fabrice DN won the RBC Grand Prix of Canada CSI 5* in June and you gave a lot of credit to your team. Tell us how important your team is to your successes…

I couldn’t be doing any of it without them – Kate, Brad, my girlfriend Kara and all the guys at home. Alongside those people, I can’t forget my owners and my parents, who brought me up to do this. Often it’s not talked about enough but there’s a massive team behind me who get these horses feeling as good as they can for the day.

Have you got any young horses that you believe have the potential to be future 5* Grand Prix winners?

I have a horse call King Lepatino, who’s jumped here and is owned by Cumberland Acres, which is an American stable. He’s a seven year old and made his international debut here in the International Ring and he did a lovely clear round so I have high hopes for him.

Who’s inspired you most throughout your career?

My parents first of all who are always pushing me forward with lots of confidence. Rider wise, I think John and Michael Whitaker – I’ve grown up watching those guys. My good friend Scott Brash, who’s obviously done fantastically well here. We did a lot together when we were younger so he’s always there for advice. There are many others including Duncan Ingles who I worked for when I was younger and who’s helped me a lot.

Away from show jumping, what do you love to do, what makes you tick?

Anything competitive. Most of the time we don’t get many chances to do anything else, so just seeing my family is the most important thing when I’m not at a show.

What’s the proudest moment of you career so far?

I think winning my first 5* Grand Prix here at Spruce Meadows, which was a life-long ambition, it’s what every rider strives to achieve so that really stands out.

How positive do you believe the Rolex Grand Slam has been for the sport of show jumping?

It’s just incredible. It’s the most exciting things our sport has. There are so many Grands Prix but these ones are absolutely the best. To have the best venues that host these Grands Prix is just fantastic for the sport so thank you to Rolex for that.

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Whitethorne LLC

Whitethorne LLC always carries a number of high-quality Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation horses for sale or lease in Southern California. All of these horses are personally chosen by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman and her partner in Germany, and represent some of the best competition horses available in Europe for every level of competition in Hunters, Equitation, and Jumpers. Georgy travels to Europe several times per year and together with her partner in Germany, selects the best of the horses available in Germany and Holland and several other countries in Europe, and imports them to Whitethorne Ranch where they are available for sale or lease.