Hood’s record red-letter day at Hickstead

Allister Hood takes supreme honours today at the Longines Royal International Horse Show 

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Allister Hood claimed The British Horse Society Supreme Horse Championship at Hickstead today (28 July) with the remarkable cob Our Cashel Blue.

It was an eighth Hickstead supreme title for Allister, who has now clocked up more wins than any other rider in the history of the championship. It marks an incredible comeback for the pair - Allister suffered a heart attack last season, while Our Cashel Blue has returned to top form after the diagnosis and successful treatment of a rare form of cancer.

Hickstead is always happy hunting ground for the Diss-based Hood showing team. “It’s been a marvellous week, and this morning we’ve had an absolute red-letter day,” says Allister, whose team claimed six wins and a brace of placings through the week.

Allister got an impressive score of 29 out of 30 from the panel of three judges, Holly Smith, Bob Ellis and Ann Brickell, to put him clear of Jayne Ross and her Saracen Horse Feeds Supreme Hunter champion Twinshock Warror in reserve with 25 points. Jayne also took third with the Brereton Supreme Hack champion Forgeland Hyde Park. 

As well as taking supreme honours, the team also produced a spectacular one-two in the Surrey Envelopes Supreme Cob Championship. Allister took the title with Our Cashel Blue, while son Oliver took the reserve spot with Master of the House.

Twelve-year-old India Till was overcome to win the prestigious De La Hey Family Supreme Pony Championship.

Having won the Leeman Family BSPS Supreme Show Pony Championship earlier in the day with Drakemyre Puttin On The Ritz, India had very little turnaround time before going into the overall supreme judging. “I can’t describe it – I never dreamed this would happen,” she said.

Her partner to victory was her family’s Drakemyre Puttin on the Ritz. Just six-years-old, he’s been ridden and produced by India for the past two years. Now, as she nears the end of her final year riding 128cm ponies, he has become a consummate professional.

“He’s got an amazing stride, and he’s grown up a bit, so when he goes in the ring now he’s like, ‘okay, I know what I’m doing – let’s do this',” she says with a smile.

The newly-crowned Hickstead champion is enjoying her formative years in the show ring, she’s got her eyes on a different prize: “I want to be a showjumper when I grow up,” she said. After taking top honours at the historic home of British showjumping, she’s certainly set herself on the right track for future Hickstead success.

The Highland pony Highland Chief of Talisker, winner of the Vanguard Property Holdings BSPS Heritage M&M Supreme Ridden Championship earlier in the week, was reserve with Amber Thorpe.

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