A large, quality entry was split into two sections for preliminary judging, giving the judges, Jenny Banks (ride) and Ros Hargreaves (conformation), plenty to think about. Top spot went to Matt McGivern, 29, from Swansea, riding his 12 year old bay gelding, Eight Palms, given to him as a birthday present 2 ½ years ago. The gelding was in training with Paul Nichols, and then went point to pointing with Chloe Roddick. He had been out of training for 7 months when Matt saw a picture of him and decided that he would like him. “We have won at county level and he loves the outdoor rings, but we have had to work on the indoor. We did a couple of qualifiers last year and came fourth. He is a bit of a diva, and definitely thinks he is king of the yard”, said Matt, who had planned a full campaign to do all the R2R qualifiers this year and had driven 6 hours to attend the show. “He is not a horse you can do a lot with, and so this has been a long time coming. He was badly injured last year and I did not know if he would be able to come back to showing, but he healed well and came back into work in February. I have had some fab instruction from Jo Bates, who has helped me tremendously and has changed his way of going completely – it has changed everything”. Matt started producing last year and has a number of horses to produce for the show ring this year, including the 2015 SEIB Search For A Star Supreme Champion, Game of Thrones. “I gave lessons to Kieran last year, but after the winter he decided he did not have time to produce the horse properly at home and sent him to me. Kieran will ride him in the ring when he can”, explained Matt.

Second place went to Alastair McCulloch’s Pastoral Prey, ridden by Richard Telford, from Ayton Castle, Berwickshire. Richard has had the 6 year old since 2013 when he lost a good show hack and was looking to fill the gap. “I had a look at him and bought him for not very much. He was straight out of racing and was really sharp and could be explosive for no apparent reason. Then we found he had ulcers and after treatment he became a different person. It really opened my eyes to the problem and I am now more conscious of the symptoms in other horses”, explained Richard. They took it slowly in the first year with just a few local shows, and then last year they swept the board with 7 shows and 7 wins, mainly in ex-racehorse classes, including Blair International Horse Trials. Pastoral Prey was in training with Ian Semple in East Lothian and was placed 4 times from 13 starts on the flat. Richard was delighted to have qualified at Osbaldeston, his nearest qualifier after a 4 ½ hour journey from Scotland. But they are used to travelling and plan to do the ex-racehorse class at Windsor Horse Show next month, and some Novice Hack classes.


1st, Eight Palms, owned and ridden by Mr Matt McGivern
2nd, Pastoral Prey, owned by Mr Alastair McCulloch and ridden by Mr Richard Telford
3rd, Barbers Shop, owned by HM The Queen and ridden by Miss Katie Jerram
4th, Tallest Peak, owned and ridden by Miss Samantha Wallin
5th, Buckingham Boys, owned by Clare Poole and ridden by Lucy Killingbeck
6th, Bear with Rupert, owned and ridden by Charlotte Iddon