Walton-on-Thames born and bred, Sam Hutton is one of Britain’s most successful young riders. He has been based in Belgium for the past few years and is currently with top Egyptian rider Abdel Said (AS Sport Horses). Over the past few months Sam has been sharing his news and stories as he follows the summer showjumping circuit across Europe.
It’s been a hugely busy July and August for me and, in my last instalment, I reported that our British team had finished disappointingly down the placings in the Nations Cup at St Gallen in Switzerland. Only a few weeks later, we were back in action for the British team at Falsterbo in Sweden for the next Nations Cup, where 5 penalties left us in fifth meaning we narrowly missed the Jump-off. In fact, it was four teams on four faults who went through, so no double clears, a situation I don’t think I have ever seen in a Nations Cup.
Britain has some strong combinations to choose from this year and we had some good horses on the team in Sweden who were all jumping well. William Funnell produced two clears on Billy Buckingham, who popped around like it was cavaletti, and just collected a time fault in each round. You had to be on it with the time, it was quite a tricky course with a lot of turn backs and you couldn’t take a breather anywhere.
Michael Whitaker (JB’s Hot Stuff) and Harriet Nuttall (A Touch Imperious) both put in clears, as did I with Happydam, although my experience turned out to be the reverse of what happened on our super-league team debut in St Gallen. That time, he was a bit too fresh in the first round and we had 17 pens but went on to jump a clear. This time, he was clear on his first round but in the very hot weather, he gave so much that he was a bit tired for the second round and we had 12 late faults.
I was surprised to find out how popular show jumping is in Sweden. Falsterbo is a massive arena and there was a lot of support from the crowd, particularly for the home side. There was some novelty entertainment there too, including a rabbit jumping contest, which is something I’ve never seen before. They also had some in-hand showjumping for miniature Shetlands that they hosted in the main ring.
My schedule after Falsterbo included Samorin (Slovakia), Valkenswaard (Holland) and, as I write, on to Deauville (France) and Zandhoven (Belgium). And because we’re always on the road, I don’t get back home to the UK much. So, it was left to others to fly the flag for Britain at Hickstead and on to the Dublin Nations Cup where they succeeded in securing a place in the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona.
I have been really pleased with the way my other horses have been jumping this summer as well as Happydam. Aramis was third in the 1.50m in Samorin and sixth in the CSIO5* in Abu Dhabi a bit earlier and Durein was third in the Puissance in Falsterbo. The young horses are also progressing nicely, all putting in clear rounds on the youngsters tour for 6 year olds in Samorin.
Happydam has been a real hero and I just heard official confirmation last week that we are one of 10 nominated entry combinations for Great Britain at The World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, which run from 11th to 23rd September. The final team who will be going will be announced in the coming weeks. Either way, it’s an honour to be asked.
Meanwhile, back at home at Burhill Sporthorses, the four-year-old Dieu Soleil III Z is coming on really well and we have some lovely foals this year, as well as some yearlings and two-year-olds who we hope will be the stars of the future.
For videos and more info on Sam visit www.samuelhutton.com