Hood clinches glory at showjumping’s prestigious meeting

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Diss-based show producer Oliver Hood clinched the prestigious showing championship at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby meeting last Sunday afternoon.

Hood secured the Alltech Supreme Hunter Championship with the nine-year old Potters Ace, which is owned by Mr and Mrs A Bowie.

The bay gelding has previously triumphed at Hickstead’s Longines Royal International Horse Show and also at the Horse of the Year Show.

“He’s been a great horse for us,” said Hood.

“He’s a big character at home and he enjoys his job, sometimes a little too much!

“The reserve champion, Lord John (ridden by Justine Armstrong-Small), is also from our yard, so we’re very happy.”

They took the overall honours in the famous International Arena, having already won the Alltech Middleweight Hunter qualifier earlier in the day.

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting is home to the renowned Hickstead Derby, which is one of the world’s toughest and most respected showjumping competitions.

The event features a number of international showjumping classes, national classes for amateurs and young horses, as well as elite showing championships.

In the region of 45,000 spectators flock to the Sussex showground for the Derby meeting each year, with around 15,000 of those arriving on Derby day.

This year, the Derby was won by William Whitaker on Glenavadra Brilliant, having finished second last year.

“I am obviously delighted. It’s one of the classes I’ve always really, really wanted to win,” the Yorkshireman said after his victory.

“I am pleased with my horse. He has always knocked on the door, and been second in numerous other derbies around Europe, so to finally get the win today, I’m really pleased.

“The more times you ride the course the better it is because the more experience you get.”