Bantling Boy is the fourth episode of the eighth series of the popular ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders and it was originally aired on 16th January 2005.


DCI Barnaby and DS Scott enter the world of horse racing when the trainer of thoroughbred Bantling Boy is battered to death. Bruce Hartley was an alcoholic who had vowed to expose the reason why his father bequeathed the horse to a syndicate comprised of four Midsomer villagers. The members of the syndicate come under suspicion, but the killing continues - then Bantling Boy seems to fall ill. The detectives must unravel secrets hidden at the aristocratic Bantling Hall to find the killer.


The champion racehorse Bantling Boy was bequeathed to a four-man syndicate by the late Lord Hartley of Bantling Hall. The members are Bruce Hartley, his son, Dr. John Osgood, his doctor, Trevor Machin, his gardener and Joanna Craxton, his nurse. After a successful day at the races, millionaire Sam Tate offers £500,000 for Bantling Boy, but Bruce angrily attacks him, wanting to keep him. Joanna and Trevor are desperate to sell Bantling Boy to clear up their debts, but Bruce and Osgood are equally keen to keep. Seeing as the syndicate needs a complete agreement for any action to be taken, the meeting reaches a tense stalemate. Bruce defiantly declares that Bantling Boy will be sold over "My dead body!" On a top 10 list of things not to say in Midsomer, that must rank pretty high. After insulting his mother, uncle, wife and an embittered jockey, Bruce visits Bantling Boy's stable, where he is struck over the head with a hammer by an unseen assailant and killed. Barnaby and Scott investigate the syndicate, and Osgood implies that the group doesn't just own a horse, but protects something else. However, before he can divulge more, Osgood is killed in a similar manner to Bruce, except this time a pennant cloth is wrapped around his mouth like a gag. Who was it trying to 'shut him up'? Barnaby realises Osgood's murder emulates the crest of Bantling Hall, the hammer and pennant. Barnaby finally makes the connection between the murders, but can he unmask the vengeful, psychotic killer in time?



Body Count

Prior to the Episode

In the Episode

Supporting Cast

Episode Images


Midsomer Murders Series 8 Episode 4 - Bantling Boy Preview

Midsomer Murders Series 8 Episode 4 - Bantling Boy Preview


The following actors and actresses who appeared in this episode have also appeared in the following episodes

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.