A Mexican wave swept around the edges of the Royal Highland Show’s vast main arena for the first time ever, whipping the thousands gathered to watch into a frenzy of excitement and anticipation of what was to be a superb jump off in the Spire Edinburgh Hospitals Grand Prix carrying a £22,500 prize fund.

Twenty-six came forward to tackle a masterpiece of a track set by Scotland’s own Mark McGowan using some unique fences to this show which were placed around the arena allowing the crowd to become involved. One of the most influential lines started with the Highland Show planks on a related line to a strong combination followed again by a related distance to the very unusual stone wall fence.

Those choosing to keep coming on the distance set seemed to find this line easy with anyone adding extra being caught out. Some big power fences heading towards then away from the main grandstand kept riders thinking all the way to the final test of accuracy and control a double of uprights.

Such was the standard this year that eight made it through to the timed round.

Commentator, Alistair Mizon, was in charge of the Mexican wave and with not one spare seat to be had, the shortened course explained and the first rider ready this class was not going to disappoint.

Paul Barker opened on Dalton W but two fences fell, defending champion Anabelle Shields rubbed the second part of the combination for four with Creevagh Charisma but then it was the turn of one of our home-based riders, James Smith, to have a go.

Graham Gillespie’s Simply Splendid had raised a gasp from the crowd in the first round when they’d approached the combination at speed but in the jump-off this grey just kept going higher and wider.

Bucking and enjoying himself Simply Splendid and James, who was to go on and win the leading Scottish points prize over the show, set up for the final oxer in front of the grandstand clearing it easily to a roar from those watching.

Their time of 49.64 looked good enough when the next in, Helen Tredwell on Sebastian VII left everything intact in 51.23.

Millie Allen was unlucky to slip on a corner with Quini De Pravia which unsettled the horse resulting in two down.

Now it was the turn of Welshman Mark Edwards who was in the enviable position of having two through.

The home-bred Tinkers Tale was first of these to go. Taking the same route as the others over the first few fences Mark opened this gelding up after turning inside to the Forth Road Bridge fence and from then on just kept coming forward daring him at the last to a huge cheer when the clock read 48.17.

Simon Buckley challenged with Elia, but a late falling pole at the Bridge fence would see them dropped to fifth.

After a quick change over onto horse number two, Mark entered the huge arena to face the daunting track in front of a now very much involved audience. The crowd fell silent, horse and rider set into a rhythm, the clock started and what followed was the most foot perfect easy round.

Montreux’s Tale really covered the ground but didn’t look rushed. They headed to the final oxer where Mark saw a forward daring stride, the horse picked up easily clearing it to cross the line in the winning time of 47.55.

Possibly the first time anyone has scored a one-two in this class it is definitely a first time for the horses to be father and son. Bred by Mark’s father, Martyn Tinkers Tale is out of a former ride of Mark’s Mammas Tinker.

Tinkers Tale, now gelded, was then put to another Grade A ride of Mark’s, Montreux, producing Montreux's Tale who is himself the sire of more youngstock at their home near Llandow.

A great supporter of the county shows, this was a very profitable trip north for Mark when not only did he land £12,500 for the Grand Prix, but Tinkers Tale also added another £1000 for winning the Fiona Gillespie Memorial Stakes and Montreux's Tale had stood at the top of the line in the previous day’s International Stairway.

Fresh from wins in the Area Trial and International Stairway at the South of England show, Montreux's Tale may have hit a fence in the first round here at Ingliston but no one else jumped clear therefore the top five scores came back in to jump again.

Jumping clear this time in 51.12 set the standard for the others to chase but only one other rider stayed on a zero score this time. Helen Tredwell steered Sebastian round in 54.25 leaving Mark pick up a further £2500 prize money.

Helen also filled fourth with Larksong her two rides split by Millie Allen on Quinu De Pravia leaving Simon Buckley in fifth retiring when he knew he had nothing to beat on Elia.

No one was surprised when the Leading Rider awards were announced, Paul Barker who was in unbelievable form throughout the show especially on board the amazingly fast Happy Boy.

The twelve-year-old Kannan-sired gelding has already won 15 classes this year including three at this show doubling his prize money in one class when he took up the challenge in the Andrew Black Haulage and Storage A and B.

The top three riders from the first round can go again to try to beat each other and the winner of this section doubles the prize awarded from the first round.

Millie Allan on Chantal V managed to reduce her first-round time from 68.21 to 67.65 throwing the gauntlet for the other two.

Louise Saywell’s Sharp Image slipped a little but she too was quicker this time from 67.02 to 66.63 but now it was the turn of Paul whose first round time of 66.51 had been quickest overall anyway.

Unbelievably Paul chased Happy Boy round daring him at the fences to not only take the lead and double his money but find an extra three seconds to stop the clock in 63.89!

Paul had paid a visit to Scotland just a few weeks ago when he took home two tickets to HOYS returning this time to take his third giving his home-bred stallion, Green Grass, yet another chance in the ring at Birmingham in October.

The busiest class of the show, saw 55 starters wanting one of the three tickets on offer, with just eight going against the clock.

First in was Fife’s Emma Crawford on her ride of two years, the Cartino-sired Dukes Of Hazzard. Never easy as the pathfinder, Emma went wider to the second fence losing a bit of time but galloped to the final double before seeing a good one to the last to set the target time of 42.03.

Two horses later and Gillian Anderson bravely took the inside line on her Scottish-bred JJs Prince Chaccomo. This tactic paid off when the clock read 41.21 with these two girls sitting in first and second until Paul entered.

He too took the inside line but also sliced every corner galloping to the last to only just squeeze ahead in 41.15 with all three earning their HOYS tickets.

Jonathan Dixon was the only rider to halt Paul and Mark’s domination of the show when he steered his dual Wierden CSI2* winner Fireball to win Saturday morning’s Breakfast stakes.

LEADING awards

Ultrabed Highland Challenge – 1, Happy Boy, P Barker; 2, Hero II, N Williams; 3, Chantal V, M Allen. Fiona Gillespie A and B – 1, Tinkers Tale, M Edwards; 2, Happy Boy; 3, The Black Flyer, J Smith. British Horse Feeds Grade C gualifier – 1, Green Grass, P Barker; 2, JJs Prince Chaccomo, G Anderson; 3, Dukes Of Hazard, E Crawford. Four-year-old potential Sports Horse – D Irvine. Five-year-old potential Sports Horse – 1, Odin M, R Payne. William Sheret Band C – 1, Zara Zing, A Black; 2, Glencoe, G Babes; 3, Elo III, N Williams. International Stairway – 1, Montreux's Tale, M Edwards; 2, Sebastian VII, H Tredwell; 3, Quinu De Pravia, M Allen. Andrew Black Haulage and Storage A and B – 1, Happy Boy; 2, Sharp Image, L Saywell; 3, Chanttal V, M Allen. Mini Major – 1, M Turnbull and Savannah Roper. Wright, Johnston and McKenzie LLP Breakfast Stakes – 1, Fireball, J Dixon; 2, Catara 4, M Allen; 3, Fan II, D Duffin. Andrew Hamilton Novice – 1, Garthago, D Duffin; 2, Endyana Z, A Black; 3, Gerrard Van De Katten Eeck, A Gatherum.Spires Hospital Grand Prix – 1, Montreux's Tale; 2, Tinkers Tale, M Edwards; 3, Simply Splendid, J Smith. Airth Castle Classic final – 1, Cancun II, L Stewart;2, Vurelise, C Templeton; 3, SSH Leagh, M Henderson. RHS accumulator challenge – 1, Happy Bo; 2, Dalton W, P Barker; 3, Crispina, P Barker. 128cm final – 1, Camizion, S Wicks; 2, Greenbarrow Desert Rose, M McColm; 3, Pondhead Dexter, E Archibald. Sign Co/Danny’s Snacks 138cm final – 1, Buttons Two, R Proudley; 2, Astral Ruben, P Deakin; 3, Mr JK, L Lawson. Sign Co/Danny’s Snacks 148cm final – 1, Spot The Okehurst, C Miller; 2, Casino Royale, S Greig; 3, Kengarth Sally Anne, D Ross. Liz Fox JC/JD final – 1, Teagan Arla Rose, S Greig; 2, Norbet, M Morris; 3, Castletown Lady Ricardo, E McCornick. Strathallan Events Young Masters – 1, Boucheron, G Babes; 2, Ashton Dakota, M Turnbull; 3, Master Calvaro, PJ Williams.

Prince Malko M reigns

In the potential sports horse section it was Vicki Stewart’s four-year-old Prince Malko M which caught the judges eye from start to finish.

By Del Piero P+B, a son of Heartbreaker this bay gelding was Scottish loose jumping champion last year at Morris EC where he showed a superb technique and fabulous brain. This has clearly carried on under saddle where he was shown off by Declan Irvine going onto win the overall championship. Vicki hopes that daughter Lauren will take over the reins at some point if this talented bay is not sold before.

Runner-up was Rachel Payne on her five-year-old winner, Odin M, a grey by Joop out of a Bon Ami mother. This ‘straight and confident’ mare was imported by Carron Nichol, bred a foal, was bought by Rachel in February this year and has only just started jumping Newcomers since first registered BS in March. This pair will be one to watch with Rachel known for producing useful horses.