He is known as one of the most famous voices of Europe and far beyond but right now he is at home, like anybody else. Matt Millin, the speaker of Knokke Hippique, Stephex Masters, The Longines Masters,… made some time for us to discuss what’s he has been doing right now.
“The hardest thing about this situation is that nobody knows when it’s going to end”, Millin says. “The first show that was cancelled for me were the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, since the virus was spreading all over Asia at that point. I however could start the season anyway with a show in The Peelbergen and one in Sentower Park, but after that the virus reached Europe and all shows got cancelled”.
Millin however is not panicing just yet despite a lot of shows are being cancelled: “A lot of shows that I was supposed to speak obviously are cancelled. I was supposed to travel to Belgium today and stay there for a month, but that’s not happening right now. There are still some shows scheduled for the end of April, but I can only wait to see what happens. Honestly I think these shows will not take place either. Most of the shows I had scheduled were in Belgium, but also in the UK shows are getting cancelled. One of the nicest shows of the UK, the Bolesworth International Horse Show, that would have taken place in June, is cancelled as well. I’m not panicing yet. Right now I still have the horses at home to work and I still have a truck company, so there are plenty of things to do at this moment”.
Matt owns a horse box company but he also sees that it gets more an more difficult to get the right certificates: “The reason I’m not panicing is because being a speaker is not my only job. I still own a horse box company, so I know I will still be able to buy food for the next couple of months. It however gets more and more difficult to get the right certificates for the boxes. We basically have five trucks that are ready to go but since everything is closed, it is really hard to get the right certificates. I also notice that it’s getting more difficult to get some parts to build the truck, windows for instance”.
At first, it seemed like Great-Britain wasn’t taking biggest measures to prevent the Corona Virus from spreading, but Millin sees that’s changing right now: “Right now we’re in some sort of lockdown. Government is giving us more an more rules to follow like for instance all restaurants, bars and hotels have to be closed. Only take away restaurants can be open. Everyday starts to feel a bit like a Sunday morning: the weather is nice, it’s quiet and there is nobody on the streets so you just get ready to go back on Monday, only you don’t know right now when that Monday is going to actually happen. Besides that we also get the advice to stay inside, keep a distance of 2 meters between one another and to wash our hands. We are also advised not to ride horses since the hospitals have better things to do in case we would fall or have an accident. We do try to follow that advice by lunging as much as possible. We do ride sometimes, but we try to keep this to the absolute minimum”.
Despite the current situation, Millin still keeps optimistic about the future: “The hardest thing about this situation is that nobody knows what is going to happen and how long this is going to take. I however stay optimistic: despite the fact that I’m not used to being at home for such a long time, my wife and I still haven’t filed for divorce, I try to keep busy and I’m looking forward to being in Europe again for hopefully many more shows in the summer. We all know that things are going to get worse right now, but they’ll have to get worse before they can get better.”