British-based Sam was a member of the Australian team for the London Olympic Games with his Badminton ride Happy Times. The pair, brought in when reserve rider Megan Jones had to withdraw just 24hours after her call up, failed to complete after a fall. They then went to Burghley where they finished in ninth place. The pair were recently third in the British Eventing Open Championship at Gatcombe.
Sam grew up on a small farm near Melbourne and started riding on his mothers’ homebred Welsh section B ponies. After gaining a BA in geography Sam took a year out to travel and to earn money took a job with UK based Blyth Tait and then a show jumping yard in New York.
In 1995 he made the decision to forge a career in eventing and returned to the UK working for fellow countryman and Olympic gold medallist Matt Ryan. After three years he set up his own yard and team of horses.
After success with Private Colin and Connigar Bay in 2004 and ’08 he was short-listed for the Olympic Games. In 2008 he won the CCI3* in Saumur with the German-bred Happy Times and the following year (2009) Happy Times gave Sam his best result ever when he was third at Badminton.
In 2010 the combination was selected for the WEG in Lexington but failed to complete. They bounced back in 2011 to take fourth place at Badminton.
Sam is married to British event rider and photographer Lucy and in 2009 the couple moved to a yard on the Dorset-Somerset border. In January this year Lucy gave birth to their first son Ollie William. Sam enjoys fishing, gardening and his new son.
Happy Times, owned by Dinah Posford, Juliet Donald and rider is a 14-year-old German-bred gelding, by former grand prix show jumper and world number one event sire, the Czech-bred Thoroughbred Heraldik. He is out of a Westphalian mare by Maraschino. Heraldik is also the sire of Butts Leon ridden by Andreas Dibowski (GER) and FRH Butts Abraxxas ridden by Ingrid Klimke (GER).
Paulank Brockagh, owned by Dinah Posford, Jules Carter and rider was acquired from her breeder Paula Cullen, who competed her at novice level in Ireland. Brocks is a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by the grand prix show jumper Touchdown out of a mare by the thoroughbred Trigerrero.
- 2013 – Gatcombe CIC3* 3rd Happy Times, 12th Paulank Brockagh
- 2013 – Barbury Castle CIC3* 6th Paulank Brockagh
- 2013 – Badminton CCI4* 15th Happy Times, 43rd Paulank Brockagh
- 2012 – Blenheim CIC3* WD Paulank Brockagh
- 2012 – Burghley CCI4* 9th Happy Times
- 2012 – Le Pin Haras CIC3*W 10th Paulank Brockagh
- 2012 – London Olympics EL Happy Times
- 2012 – Bramham CCI3* 5th Paulank Brockagh, 7th Happy Times
- 2012 – Houghton Hall CICO3* 27th Happy Times
- 2012 – Houghton Hall CIC3* 1st Real Dancer
- 2012 – Belton CIC3* 28th Happy Times
- 2011 – Boekelo CCI3* 27th Paulank Brockagh
- 2011 – Blenheim CIC3* 25th Paulank Brockagh
- 2011 – Burghley CCI*** 16th Happy Times
- 2011 – Aachen CICO*** 23rd Happy Times
- 2011 – Badminton 4th Happy Times
- 2010 – Le Lions D’Angers CH-M-YH-CCI2* 8th Paulank Brockagh
- 2010 – Boekelo CCI*** 15th Danaan Prince
- 2010 – Hartpury CIC*** 19th Happy Times
- 2010 – Chatsworth CIC***W 1st Happy Times
- 2010 – Belton Park CIC*** 1st Happy Times
- 2009 – Burghley CCI**** 3rd Happy Times
- 2009 – Badminton 3rd Happy Times
- 2008 – Saumur CCI*** 1st Happy Times
- 2008 – Badminton 26th Connigar Bay
- 2007 – Burghley CCI**** 11th Connigar Bay
- 2006 – Burghley CCI**** 8th Connigar Bay
- 2006 – Badminton 26th Connigar Bay
- 2005 – Burghley CCI**** 15th Connigar Bay'2004 – Badminton 6th Private Colin