Tuesday 4th October – Mathew Wright riding If You Want II jumped his way to victory in an exciting, down-to-the wire finish in the 2011 Express Eventing Final at the Horse of the Year Show.


Wright takes away £12,500 in prize money in what was a spectacular culmination of the 2011 Express Eventing Series. Sixteen of some of eventing’s most well-known names (including former Badminton and Burghley winner as well as Express Eventing 2008 winner Oliver Townend, Australian eventer Sam Griffiths and Chinese Olympian Alex Hua Tian) battled it out in Birmingham’s LG Arena for a share of the £40,000 Express Eventing Final prize pot.


Chinese Olympic eventer Alex Hua Tian was the runner up with Grafenstolz. The combination finished just 0.30 of a penalty point behind the leader, and with Harry Meade in third. The athletes kept the approximate 4,000 crowd in suspense throughout the competition.


A delighted Mathew said of his win “The plan was to take all four qualifiers and the final, but the Festival of British Eventing qualifier just slipped away from me to Sam Griffiths. I’m truly delighted to have won here today, and the win is a huge credit to the whole team who’ve got the horse and myself ready. This is a great new concept for equestrian sport.”


Stephen Renouard, Express Eventing Equestrian Director, said “This was a superb ending to the 2011 Express Eventing Series. The crowd was on the edge of their seats and certainly enjoyed the action-packed, fast-moving version of eventing. The excitement in the arena was palpable.


“We have thoroughly enjoyed rolling the 2011 Series out at our four Qualifiers at Bolesworth Castle, the Lincolnshire Show, the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim and the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe. The calibre of athletes who competed at these events, and indeed the Final, was excellent. We are really looking forward to taking Express Eventing to the next stage in 2012.”


The Express Eventing 2011 Final, following the format of the Qualifiers, consisted of three arena-based disciplines: freestyle ‘dressage to music’, cross country and showjumping. The athletes at the Final were the very best of those who competed at the four Qualifiers held around the country.


The Express Eventing Series 2011 has had a total prize pot of £100,000 with approximately £15,000 being allocated to each Qualifier and £40,000 to the Express Eventing Final at Horse of the Year Show.

Final results:

1st Matthew Wright If You Want II 18.51pens
2nd Alex Hua Tian Grafenstolz 18.81pens
3rd Harry Meade Tinka’s Time 22.38pens
4th Fiona Hobby Roma M.L 26.57pens
5th Sam Griffiths Real Dancer 32.45pens
6th Oliver Townend Brigadier 33.01pens
7th Paul Sims French Polish 36.19pens
8th William Murray Carlingford Shiver 36.54pens


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