Rio and Rosie helping Holbeach rider to gain experience

BEST OF FRIENDS: Showjumper Matthew Yates (19) of Holbeach with Rio (left) and Rosie at Bridge House Farm, Gosberton Bank. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG040316-125TW
BEST OF FRIENDS: Showjumper Matthew Yates (19) of Holbeach with Rio (left) and Rosie at Bridge House Farm, Gosberton Bank. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG040316-125TW

Holbeach teenager Matthew Yates is working hard to achieve his dream of being a professional showjumper.

The 19-year-old rider looks after two horses, studies at college and has a part-time job.

He competes at Foxhunter level with Horse of the Year Show qualifiers lined up for this summer.

Yates has trained Rio (19) for three years and about a month ago he also started to work with eight-year-old Rosie at Bridge House Farm, Gosberton Bank.

He said: “I will be riding both horses this year, mainly during the summer.

“Rio doesn’t have long to go until retirement and Rosie will have her first shows this year.

“She was bred to be a race horse but she wasn’t fast enough. She has taken quite well to jumping so now we are going down that route with her.

“Rio is a veteran jumper who came from Belgium when he was seven. He is used to competing at a high level.

“We compete at 1.2 metres and we probably wouldn’t go much higher than that due to his age.

“We will try to qualify for the Horse of the Year Show at 1.1m or 1.2m.

Matthew Yates with Rio and Rosie

Matthew Yates with Rio and Rosie

“Rio knows what he is doing but his previous owner couldn’t handle him before we got him.

“He’s very strong and he can be difficult.

“At the moment Rosie is a little bit clumsy but she just needs more work and fitness to jump better. She has a nice natural ability.”

Surprisingly, Yates does not have a family background with horses – but from the age of eight he knew that he wanted to work with them.

I’m riding other people’s horses as well and I want to get more experience.

Matthew Yates

He added: “There was no influence at all but I went to a riding school and I liked the big horses.

“I spent six years at Fourwinds Equestrian Centre, West Pinchbeck, and for the last three years I’ve been independent with Rio.

“I’m riding the horses five or six days a week and we will be competing in the summer every two weeks.

“When we feel the time is right for Rosie, she will come because she just needs that experience. We will take it slowly to train her.”

Yates is looking at options such as college applications and apprenticeships to go into equine therapy and dentistry along with the dream of being a full-time rider.

He said: “I’m riding other people’s horses as well and I want to get more experience.”

Yates is currently offering his services of working, schooling, jumping and competing as part of a ‘free trial’ period.

He is also looking for any sponsorship to help cover the costs. Find out more by searching for Matthew Yates Showjumper on Facebook or call him on 07564 284570.

You can also follow him on Twitter @yatesshowjump