Allister Hood and Caroline Tyrrell’s Our Cashel Blue claimed the coloured horse and pony of the year championship at Horse of the Year Show (http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/tag/hoys) this afternoon (11 October).

This is Our Cashel Blue’s best result to date. The six-year-old blue and white gelding joined the Hoods’ yard in December 2014 and took time to build confidence in the show ring. Every inch of his light coat gleamed in the arena today, Allister describing him as a “neat and tidy boy” in the following video:

Our Cashel Blue has transformed from the timid, nervous character that joined Allister’s yard 18 months ago.

“He was very nervous and inwardly worried then, but with a lot of persistence he came too,” said Allister. “The first time we got him into the ring was June 2014.”

Our Cashel Blue qualified for HOYS last year. He scored top conformation marks but he was still inexperienced and his ride judge marks let him down.

“He was quite green then but he looked amazing with the judge today,” added Allister.

Despite the six-year-old gelding of unknown breeding being blue and white, Allister added that keeping him clean isn’t difficult.

“We’re very lucky because he’s a clean horse, although his hocks do get stained a little now and then. In my experience coloureds are much dirtier than greys, but he’s a neat, tidy boy.”

Our Cashel Blue will return to the international Andrew Bowens arena this evening to contest the Ripon Select Foods supreme horse of the year championship.

“He has presence and loves a crowd — he stands like a rock no matter what noise is going on around him.

“When anyone comes to the yard his head comes over the stable door and they say ‘who is that?’. He draws people to him and that star quality is important for a show horse.”

Sue-Helen Shutterworth and Boston, the coloured ridden native/cob/traditional pony of the year winners, stood overall coloured reserve.

Don’t miss the full HOYS report in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound, on sale 15 October.