London, England – December 19, 2022 – The final day of The London International Horse Show featured some of the world’s best equestrian athletes, drawing to a close with The Turkish Airlines London Grand Prix. The 1.60m competition produced a series of spell-binding performances as the riders vied for a share of the €125,000 prize fund. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s (POR) challenging course proved to be a tough test of agility and precision, with only four of the 31 starters going through to the jump-off.
Great Britain’s Matthew Sampson (GBR), who has taken the North American circuit by storm over the last few months, produced a faultless round in front of the delighted home crowd, posting a time to beat of 31.88 seconds with Ebolensky (Clinton X Heartbreaker).
Sweden’s Angelie von Essen (SWE) on Cochella (Cartani 4 x Lord) and Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) with Curcuma Il Palazzetto (Casall x Lord) both accrued four penalty-points trying to beat Sampson’s time with, leaving Denis Lynch (IRL) as the only remaining rider to go.
The Irish rider, who has won some of the biggest classes in the world, was riding the eight-year-old Dark Chocolate in the horse’s first ever 5* Grand Prix, however Sampson’s round proved too difficult to match, with Lynch finishing on eight faults.
A delighted Sampson said: “It’s absolutely incredible, honestly I can’t believe it, it’s a dream come true. It’s special for my owners, the Evison family too. They’ve had Ebolensky from a foal and I’ve ridden her since she was seven. She grew up in England and has been in England for most of her career, so to win this class is absolutely amazing.”
The 32-year-old continued: “You see all the best riders from around the world here: for us, especially being British, it’s the best place there is. Competing here is what we dream of when we’re growing up and to actually win is unbelievable.”
Final Results – €125,000 Turkish Airlines London Grand Prix CSI 5*-W
1) Matthew Sampson (GBR) & Ebolensky – 0 / 0 – 31.88
2) Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) & Curcuma Il Palazzetto – 0 / 4 – 34.28
3) Angelie von Essen (SWE) & Cochella – 0 / 4 – 34.87
Source: Press Release by Niki McEwen / Revolution World for The London International Horse Show
Photo: © LIHS / Louie Gonzalez