This was also the experience of Lucy Reeves, from Northamptonshire, who founded Muddy Matches in 2007, aged 25, with her sister Emma, who was 27 at the time.They’d failed to meet anyone through Young Farmers, and while they enjoyed going to rural events such as the CLA Game Fair and Badminton Horse Trials, they only ever met up with people they knew. I’d be surrounded by good-looking, like-minded people my age but I didn’t have the nerve to barge up to them and introduce myself,” Lucy says.As the internet plays an ever greater part in our social lives, with sites such as Facebook helping us to keep in touch with our friends, it's inevitable that we also use it to help us run our love lives as well. is an online community for those who live, work, or play in the countryside: Equestrian singles, horse & country sports lovers, farmers, farriers, vets and all rural romantics can find countryside love and friendship here in the original Love Horse®.She has already exchanged messages with a couple of “cute” guys and is looking forward to test-driving the Get Muddy app at the Country Life Fair.“It’s exciting seeing who has looked at your profile.” Lucy recommends she post a flattering and clear photograph of herself on to her profile and includes brief details such as her location and age.“There are farmers – we also host Farmers Weekly magazine’s dating site – horsey people, shooting types and dog lovers as well as a large number of country-minded folk who live in towns.” A tongue-in-cheek multiple-choice quiz on the site calculates a user’s muddy-townie ratio with questions such as “Where would your ideal house be? “People use it when they’re out at work or on their combine harvester; messages have got shorter; people are 'chatting’ rather than emailing; it’s all much more immediate,” Lucy says.One member, Richard, found his girlfriend Valerie five miles away, by searching for local users.
Lucy and her sister, fearing it was unethical to join their own site but eager for a success story of their own, eventually signed up to a rival, and are consequently both in long-term relationships.“I sent her a message asking if she was well and she replied that she was enjoying a gin and tonic in her garden,” he writes in the success stories section of the site.“I suggested she came round for further gin and tonics and the rest is history!“So we decided on an event-based app, as that’s the way people socialise in the country.” In 2006, when the Reeves sisters decided to give online dating a go – secretly, because the notion of finding love with a stranger via the internet had only recently started to lose its stigma – they failed to find a dating site aimed at young, country-minded singles.“Rural internet dating sites were all very much Last Chance Saloon; images of two badgers disappearing off into the sunset — that kind of thing,” Lucy explains.