Samuel Hutton’s Journey to the European Show Jumping Championships

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Samuel Hutton e Oak Road’s Laith

#roadtoMilan2023 with HSJ: riding high for victory

In the world of show jumping, it’s all about teamwork – the rider and horse working together, giving it their all. That’s where Samuel Hutton and his 13-year-old stallion, Oak Road’s Laith, come into the picture.

With the European Show Jumping Championships right around the corner, Samuel Hutton‘s story is all about skill, smart planning, and a special bond between im and his horse Oak Grove’s Laith.

A Dynamic Duo Making Waves

Samuel Hutton and Oak Road’s Laith, the 13-year-old stallion, have formed a partnership that has been making waves in the equestrian scene. Their journey began to take shape last year, and since then, they have steadily progressed, showcasing their remarkable talents and leaving an indelible mark at the heighest level of the sport.

Over the past year, they have performed in three significant Global Champions Tour events, capturing attention and establishing their presence as a force to be reckoned with in the the top level of the sport.  

The synergy between Hutton’s expertise and Oak Road’s Laith’s prowess is evident in their seamless performances that exude both skill and dedication.

Paving the Path to the Championships

Achieving a spot in the European Show Jumping Championships wasn’t handed to Hutton on a silver platter; it was the result of sheer hard work and unwavering commitment. While the idea of participating in such a prestigious event might not have initially occupied Hutton’s mind, their string of victories gradually shifted his focus toward the ultimate goal: The European Championships.

Invitations to prestigious Nations Cups and other high-stakes competitions underscored Hutton’s growing reputation, propelling him toward the grand stage. This progression highlighted not only their undeniable talent but also the grit and determination that fuel their journey.

Initially the Europeans weren’t in my plans when I first started riding him, but when we started having good results, I started to think in the back of my head that there could be a chance for us, I got the opportunity to go to some Nations Cup events and he performed very well so then I knew Milan was not just in the back of my head, that was my main goal and I wanted to achieve it, so I started to prepare my horses condition for the Championship.”

Preparation: Both Physical and Mental

Preparing for the Championships required a dual approach: physical and mental readiness. Hutton invested countless hours with Oak Road’s Laith, engaging in intensive riding sessions multiple times a day. Their training regimen encompassed a range of activities, from traditional riding to innovative techniques like hacking and lunging. Additionally, Hutton incorporated cardio workouts, drawing upon his background in eventing to enhance their overall fitness.

My plan working back was always to do Dublin as a grass show, since it is a very good preparation for Milan, because the Europeans would be on grass.”

Yet, their preparation extended beyond the physical realm. Hutton recognized the critical role of mental fortitude. He cultivated a mindset centered around staying present and delivering peak performances during the events leading up to the Championships. Rather than succumbing to stress, Hutton and Oak Road’s Laith showcased their synchronicity and focused on perfecting their individual roles. This mental strength underscored Hutton’s unwavering dedication to the art of competitive show jumping.

I have mainly been focusing on my horse and get him in the best shape possible. Mentally I have been trying not to think about it too much. The main goal is to keep my horse in shape physically and mentally and also make sure that I am in the best mental state possible”.

The Power of Teamwork

Central to Hutton’s journey is the pivotal role of teamwork. Collaborating closely with his trainer, Dai, they devised a comprehensive plan to capitalize on Oak Road’s Laith’s strengths and elevate their overall performance. Hutton’s acknowledgment of his support network, including the instrumental contributions of their base with Abdel Said, speaks volumes about the collaborative effort that propels them forward, even amidst Hutton’s frequent travels.

Hutton’s pragmatic and grounded approach is evident when addressing the unpredictable nature of working with horses. He understands that challenges are part of the journey, but his readiness to face whatever comes his way exemplifies his commitment to seizing every opportunity and cherishing the unique bond he shares with Oak Road’s Laith.

I am very fortunate to be based with Abdel Said, and we have a great team of people around us at home, that take great care of the horses, we have a very nice facility  with really everything to keep the horses in the best shape.”

A Shining Example of Dedication and Alliance

In this field where success depends on the strong partnership between rider and horse, Samuel Hutton and Oak Road’s Laith are clear examples of dedication and resilience. As the European Show Jumping Championships get closer, their main goal is to win two gold medals,  with Milano being their first championship, Hutton’s excitement to represent his country is strong.

I am going to be fighting for the best result possible.”

You can find the full interview with Samuel Hutton in our Podcast section.

Photo provided by Samuel Hutton

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