Having spotted Ebolensky as a foal at a Dutch auction in September 2009 Rachael was immediately struck by her look of sheer star quality and, although not managing to buy her on the day, by a stroke of good fortune, she was able to buy her privately the next day. Rachael has owned Ebolensky – or Lenni as she is known in the stable – ever since and has had the enormous satisfaction of seeing her early confidence rewarded.
This grey mare’s career is definitely on the rise. On October 5th 2017 Ebolensky won the Foxhunter Championship at the Horse of the Year Show. Her name now joins those of many successful international showjumpers who first came to prominence in this class.
Was Ebolensky always destined for stardom? With a vague plan that she would compete the mare herself, Rachael shipped Ebolensky over as a foal from Holland and she spent the next few years at Rachael’s parents’ place, wintering with other youngsters. She was broken in at three years old by Will and Ginny Turnbull in Leicestershire. Of her first ride on her, Rachael says: ‘she felt amazing. So light – just like floating on air.’
As she grew older and stronger, however, the mare’s high spirits and obvious talent prompted Rachael to get Samantha Jimmison to take Ebolensky on. Sam brought her on gradually and with great skill. Together they won the Burghley Young Event Five Year Old Class final and when Ebolensky was seven they qualified for the 2016 Newcomers Final at HOYS. It became apparent that the mare was ready for bigger and greater things. Enter Matthew Sampson, successful 27 year old show jumper, who has taken Ebolensky to the next stage in her career.
In the months prior to HOYS, Matthew had competed the mare both at home and abroad. They enjoyed an extremely successful Sunshine Tour, followed by two first places in 1.40cm classes at Fontainbleu and a win in her first International World Ranking Class at Lier in Belgium. By the end of 2017 she has won a total of £25,000, which is quite a feat for an eight years old at the beginning or her career. Who knows what will happen next year but there are plans to take part in more international shows, moving up to 1.60cm classes.
The partnership Ebolensky has with rider Matthew Sampson over the last year is certainly developing well. According to Rachael: ‘Matthew says she is the most intelligent horse he has ever sat on. She can be pretty volatile but Matthew just regards that as the certain edge that is needed in a real champion. He describes her as having a similar personality to his own: they are both a bit wild and crazy and neither can concentrate until they get into the ring. She is really sweet and playful in the stable but when she’s tacked up she nips everyone but never ever Matthew. She just adores him and would follow him around all day if she could.’
After the Sunshine Tour this summer, Matthew asked Rachael if he could become a part owner of Ebolensky and this was agreed. It was also at this point that Ebolensky was insured for the first time. Rachael was recommended to Rosemary Whitehouse at Lycetts Newmarket office by a friend.
She says: ‘Having spoken to several potential insurers and being frustrated by how inflexible they were, it was refreshing to deal with someone who really understood the world of competition horses and was used to dealing with high value animals. The vetting and underwriting were all conducted in a very practical and sensible way and the quote from Lycetts was by far the most competitive and offered us the best package.’
Lycetts is delighted to be involved with this talented and rising young star. The future is looking bright for the Ebolensky so watch out for her on the international show jumping circuit next season!