Allister Hood won the Colosso Family Heavyweight Cob of the Year championship at HOYS (Horse of the Year Show) this evening (7 October). Riding Our Cashel Blue, this victory is the second year on the bounce for this pair in this class.

“He was brilliant and I think today was the best he’s ever gone,” said Allilster of the eight-year-old. “He was so with me and I was so with him. He’s a once in a lifetime horse.”

The blue and white gelding, owned by Caroline Tyrell was foot-perfect throughout the championship.

“He just keeps on giving,” said Allister, who first won at HOYS was at the Empire Building in Wembley in 1973. “He takes no working in beforehand and we virtually walked straight into the main arena tonight — he’s a natural showman and just loves it.”

Our Cashel Blue Allister Hood

The pair have enjoyed what Allister describes as a “phenomenal” season, clocking wins at The Royal International Horse Show and the BHSA National Championships, and ‘Blue’ enjoys a varied life outside the show ring too.

“I never take him in the school — we’ve been enjoying galloping around stubble fields and my son, Ben, who is a kennel huntsman for the Dunston Harriers, paraded hounds from him at Easton College recently. I have to keep Blue motivated at home and he very much thinks that unless he’s got a HOYS crowd around him, working is boring!”

Ahead of the supreme championship and the coloured horse and pony of the year championship tomorrow, Allister is pragmatic.

“We will go with the flow — if the horse performs as well as he can, then I’ll be happy with that,” explains Allister, who also has a forthcoming operation on his ankle due to arthritis. “We can’t do any more after that — after then, it’s up to the judges.”

The reserve title went to the heavyweight cob Morrows Marskman, ridden by Simon Reynolds and owned by Clare Trebble.

Read the full report from HOYS in the next issue of Horse & Hound (23 October).

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