Blo Norton family celebrate treble at Horse of the Year show

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An equestrian family from Diss had plenty of reasons to celebrate after enjoying a triple success at this year’s Horse of the Year show.

The Hood family, from Blo’ Norton, were responsible for training three winners at the prestigious event, which was held at the international arena at the Birmingham NEC.

Chaplin picked up the Lightweight Cob of the Year, while Bridgham won Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year crown and Our Cashel Blue claimed the champion coloured horse category.

Allister Hood, who partnered Our Cashel Blue on the Sunday afternoon, said: “It’s an amazing achievement to have three winners.

“You always dream about having one winner, so to get three is a great feat. We usually get one winner a year but some years we haven’t had any.

“We knew our horses were good enough, but it’s all down to how they perform on the day and whether the judges like them.”

Allister’s son Oliver led Chaplin to victory on the Sunday morning after Sofia Scott had helped Bridgham to glory on the Saturday.

Scott, who has trained with the Hood family at their Buttons Farm base for a number of years, rode Paul Rackham’s ex-racehorse Bridgham to success in a close final.

Bridgham showed outstanding manners and quality to take the championship in fine style.

Formerly trained by Nigel Bloom, Bridgham ran in six point-to-points and was placed three times before he retired from the track in 2009.

Bridgham has been competing in lightweight hunter classes with top showing producer, Oliver Hood, for the past few seasons.

Sofia, 22, was looking for a horse to do ladies classes.

“I worked in Bridgham for Oliver at a show last year and really liked him,” said Sofia, pictured above on Bridgham.

“Allister suggested we have a go at ladies classes with him, so we have really been focusing on that.

“Bridgham is my absolute favourite, he is such a sweetheart and tries to give 100 per cent all the time.”

The pair won the ladies class at Edenbridge, in Kent, this year and plan to do more classes next season. He loves it, and has such a super temperament,” added Sofia.