Matthew Wright has claimed his second win of the Express Eventing Series 2011 at the Lincolnshire Show today. In a thrilling finish which went right to the final fence in the showjumping, Wright claimed the top prize of £3,000 finishing on a score of just 4.5. He pipped Wiltshire based Fiona Hobby who finished on a score of 8.15 to the post in a breathtaking finish, which had the crowd held in absolute silence.

As Matthew has already qualified for the Express Eventing Series Final at the Horse of the Year Show when he won at the Bolesworth Showjumping Classic on 9th June the qualification passes down the line, meaning that Fiona Hobby, sister of Tina Fletcher has qualified for the final.

Whilst at Bolesworth Matthew was in second behind Oliver Townend throughout the whole event, but at Lincoln he lead from the Dressage phase with an initial score of 8.5 folowed by a clear Cross Country. Fiona jumped a clear showjumping round leaving the eraser fence intact (which knocks 4 points of the total) meaning that Matthew had to do the same to secure victory.

William Murray who is based in Northumberland also qualified for the Series Final as the highest placed Young Rider, finishing fifth overall on Jen Deary and Sarah Burdess’ gelding Brightside. Matthew Wright, Paul Sims, Fiona Hobby and William Murray will now go forward to the final for their chance to claim part of a £40,000 prize pot.

Wright said of his success “It’s been a tight competition, I knew the pressure on with Fiona just behind me, I’ve never seen her horse drop a pole so I knew we had to jump well and the horse really did just that. The Cross Country was tougher than at Bolesworth, which was good”.

William Murray said “It’s a great format, and the neat thing about it is the level pegging it places you on with Senior and well known riders. I was so tempted to apply because of the Final being at the Horse of the Year Show. For this sort of thing the rider and the horse have to be so switched on, it’s quite intense. Express Eventing has really found its feet now, and I really hope it continues to grow’.

Stephen Renouard, Equestrian Director of Express Eventing commented “Once again, the competition left everybody on the edge of their seats. The rider’s were all over the moon. It’s a very addictive sport, once they have had a go they’re hooked”.

There are two Express Eventing Series qualifiers remaining. These are The CLA Game Fair on Saturday 24th July, and The Festival of British Eventing of Gatcombe Park on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August.

Final Results:
-Fiona Hobby (8.15). QUALIFIED
-Carol Pearson (19.30).
-Jo Chipperfield (20.70).
-William Murray (27.65). QUALIFIED YOUNG RIDER
-Shari Butchart (35.45) .
-Tamsyn Hutchins (37.85).
-Kate Lukas (37.85).
-Georgie Strang (40.95).
-Angela Starr (54.65).
-Charlotte Castle (54.95).


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