Samantha Kellett dreamed of being an event rider and when the late Tom Searle found her a scopey yet quirky horse called Deacon, she thought she was progressing along the right track, until Deacon displayed a dislike for water. The combination has since concentrated on show jumping with brilliant results.
Samantha Kellett, a talented show jumper from Gloucestershire has won the coveted Welsh Masters Title with her Grade A show jumper, V Ramsez Z, for the second time in two years.
Their amazing journey started six years ago. It was during a cross-country lesson at Rabson Manor with the late Tom Searle on her previous horse called Corky, which wasn’t going to plan, that Tom said to Sam: “If you really want to event, then we’d better find you another horse.”
A quirky horse
Within a couple of weeks Tom had found something suitable, but quirky and Sam went over to give ‘Deacon’ a try.
At the time, he was owned by John Westmore who had done a handful of BE90’s and BE100’s. John’s wife Sophie rode him first. On first impressions Sam didn’t think he was that special. However, she then hopped on and he produced a buck in his first canter! Sam decided there was something cheeky about this horse and tried him over some poles. He made 1.10m look effortless and the power he had was phenomenal. He was definitely the horse for her and the deal was done.
On getting him home it was evident Deacon had many quirks including dragging Sam to and from the field, jumping out of his paddock, not wanting to be tied up and napping and spooking out on hacks.
A dislike of water
However, despite this, over the next few months Sam took Deacon eventing and won her class at West Wilts progressing to BE100 and gained a double clear at Howick. It then became evident that Deacon was not a fan of water and so the doubt about him having an eventing career crept in.
Joe MacDonald was one of the first people to give Sam the confidence to pursue her show jumping career. Deacon rapidly qualified for the British Novice Finals, having won nearly every qualifying class he entered. The talented combination then started to progress through the ranks from Newcomers to Foxhunters and qualified for the Blue Chip restricted 1.10m class and the 1.20m class. They’ve since gone on to qualify for the Blue Chip finals every year since.
With success comes sponsorship
Though her consistent results Sam gained sponsorship from Equiboodle, a tack shop based in South Cerny, near Cirencester.
Sam now trains with Roland Fernyhough and she credits him with helping them achieve consistent results and double clears at 1.10m and 1.15m, as well as going Grade A.
Sam and Deacon won the 1.10m Welsh Masters Championship in 2016, were Reserve Champions in 2017 and recently regained their Championship title in 2018, something Sam thought would only ever be a dream.