Hood is victorious once again

CHAMPION: Allister Hood
CHAMPION: Allister Hood

Diss-based showing rider and producer Allister Hood won a prestigious showing championship title at Hickstead’s Longines Royal International Horse Show on Sunday.

Hood claimed the British Horse Society Supreme Ridden Horse Championship title for an unprecedented seventh time.

The Norfolk showman won the Winston Churchill Cup, giving him the overall supreme champion show horse at Hickstead.

On Sunday, he came double handed to the championship, having qualified for the final with the Saracen Horse Feeds Supreme Riding Horse champion Diamonds Are Forever and the Surrey Envelopes Supreme Cob victor Our Cashel Blue.

His elegant show on the dark-bay eight-year-old riding horse champion set the standard early on.

The performance netted a score of 28 out of 30 from the three judges, including a perfect 10 from Tom O’Brien from the Al Shira’aa stables.

“The first time I won the Supreme was with my hack Brown Buzzard back in about 1981,” said Hood, who has since gone on to win the title a further six times.

“Diamonds Are Forever is a real show horse with great charisma and movement.

“He gives you the most incredible feeling when you ride him. He’s good as gold at home and very straightforward.

“He just seems to get better and better and he’s only eight at the moment so you’d hope he’d be coming back again and again.

“He has been two seasons unbeaten now. He’s a very exciting horse.

“In Friday’s Supreme Riding Horse class in that main ring he proved to me what a champion he was — on that day at that moment he was perfection.”

Hood’s dream day was made complete when cob Our Cashel Blue was crowned reserve Supreme on a score of 26.

He said of the horse: “He always brings a smile to my face. For a cob he’s just so light on his feet and he’s got such personality.

“He’s the best cob I’ve ever had, I just call him the dude! Whenever anyone comes to the yard he’s the first to put his head over the stable door.”

It was a real family affair in the Supreme, as Hood’s son Oliver also came forward with the Ridden Skewbald & Piebald champion Kellythorpes Master Key — they were one of three Supreme finalists who tied on a score of 22.