Matthew Wright has won the opening Express Eventing Series 2011 Qualifier at the Bolesworth Showjumping Classic in Cheshire today taking home the first prize of £3,000 as well as a qualification to the Series Final. The Nottinghamshire based Event Rider beat stiff off competition from Oliver Townend in a nail biting finish with less than a pole between the two of them.


The winner was in second place behind Oliver throughout the event until the Showjumping, where he had one pole down but cleared the eraser fence, knocking four points of his total. Oliver had two poles down, and although he cleared the eraser fence this put him 1.9 penalty points behind Matthew.


Wright completed a powerful dressage test on his mount If You Want II with music from the Kings Of Leon’s Sex on Fire track. Fraser Duffy finished in third just 2.9 penalty points behind the leader.


Matthew will be joined in the Series final at the Horse of the Year Show by Cheshire based 24 year old Paul Sims who has qualified as the top placed Young Rider finishing 5th overall. Matthew and Paul will now go forward to the final for their chance to claim part of a £40,000 prize.


Wright said of his success “I’m delighted to have qualified. He’s a great horse, and I’ve trained hard for this. It’s such a great sport with an exciting future ahead of it and this is the first time I’ve had the chance to compete, but I’ve wanted to since day one”.

Paul 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 “today’s 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. These 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.


Final Results:
1st- Matthew Wright (GBR). 21.40 penalty points. QUALIFIED FOR FINAL. Nottinghamshire based Matthew has represented Great Britain at the European Championships. He has competed at International level, and has had particular success in Ireland where he was winner at Ballindenisk Horse Trials and the World Cup Qualifier.

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). 


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