Matthew Wright and If You Want II deservedly won the 2011 Express Eventing crown, with a spectacular performance that kept the large Horse of the Year Show crowd on the edge of their seats.
If You Want It II, a 15-year-old advanced event gelding, is owned by John Peace and on his way to the Express Eventing Final won three of the four qualifiers at Bolesworth Castle, the Lincolnshire Show and the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim, taking third place at a competitive Festival of British Eventing.
A delighted Matthew said after his win, “The atmosphere was electric and it was brilliant from start to finish. I didn’t think it could work so well in such a small space, but it was a 19 fence course – proper cross country fences – of 2-start height and technicality, so around 1.15m – and I had a great round.
“If You Want II did some advanced events in the spring, but since then we’ve produced him just for this series and it’s the first year he’s done it. He’s a very easy horse on the flat, very honest with cross country fences and a good, careful jumper.
In second place after the crowd-pleasing dressage-to-music phase, Matthew and If You Want It jumped a flowing and confident clear round and finally secured the top honours with a clear show jumping round, after the incredible atmosphere saw others make mistakes. That netted a cool £12,500 for the rider who is a familiar sight at prize presentations for every level of eventing.
Matthew, who is supported by TRM, the Irish manufacturer of highly specified nutritional supplements, explained, “This win is a huge credit to the whole team who have got the horse and myself ready and TRM is an integral part of that. TRM manufactures such a wide range of products, there is always an individual solution for every horse’s nutritional needs. I love the joint supplement Stride HA and every horse we have benefits from Curragh Carron Oil. Some need the support of GNF [Gut Nutrition Formula] and some are on Muscle Up – we use nearly every product in the range and I am very happy with them all.
The Express Eventing Win comes towards the end of a very successful season for Matthew, who has won at more than 25 one day events this season, ridden to a win in the 2* three day event at Ballindenisk with Fernhill Express and secured the lion’s share of the £5,000 cottages4you Accumulator bonus awarded for results at Belton, Hopetoun and Osberton.