THE 2013 SHOW
30th May - 2nd June
Matthew Wright saved his best until the final round to pip the favourite, Oliver Townend to victory at the opening Express Eventing Series 2011 Qualifier at the Bolesworth Showjumping Classic in Cheshire.
Riding If You Want II, the 28 year-old Wright trailed Townend throughout the competition until they reached the showjumping finale and, in the end, the pair were separated by less than a couple of points.
Wright, from Retford, took home the £3,000 first prize and secured his qualification for the series final at the Horse of the Year Show at the LG Arena in Birmingham in October. He'll be joined in the final by the Cheshire-based 24 year-old, Paul Sims, who qualified as the top placed Young Rider with his 5th place overall.
Wright, who performed the dressage to music section accompanied by the Kings Of Leon's Sex on Fire, said: "This has been great for my horse because he's 15 years old and didn't really make the grade at three-day eventing. The great thing about Express Eventing is that it can prolong the career of a horse like mine. We are a good old and young combination. Bolesworth is a perfect place for Express Eventing. I love coming here. They treat us really well and the facilities for horses and riders are some of the best in the country. This is a show I will come back to."
Sims, who rode Kim Belton's Power of Dreams, added: "I'm thrilled. It's great to be right up there with he top names, and I've had such good fun today".
Stephen Renouard, Equestrian Director of Express Eventing commented "This first qualifier has set a very high standard going forwards. As the scores show, it was a truly thrill-a-minute competition, shown by the edge of the seat ending we had."
There are three Express Eventing Series qualifiers remaining. They are the Lincolnshire Show on Wednesday 22nd June, The CLA Game Fair on Saturday 24th June, and The Festival of British Eventing of Gatcombe Park on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August.
1st- Matthew Wright (GBR). 21.40 penalty points. QUALIFIED FOR FINAL.
2nd- Oliver Townend (GBR). 23.30 penalty points.
3rd Fraser Duffy (GBR). 24.30 penalty points.
4th Fiona Hobby (GBR). 24.65 penalty points
5th Paul Sims (GBR). 27.20 penalty points.
6th Mark Todd (NZL).
7th Alex Hua Tian (CHI).
8th Shari Butchart (GBR).
9th Hannah Bate (GBR).
10th Carol Pearson (GBR).
11th Jess Butler (GBR).
12th Charlotte Castle (GBR).