Allister Hood could hardly believe it when he and Our Cashel Blue were pulled in first in the Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Championship at HOYS.

“I can’t describe how it feels,” beamed Allister who hails from Norfolk. “‘Blue’ thought the crowd were all there just for him.”

Our Cashel Blue, a blue and white seven-year-old gelding, owned by Caroline Tyrell qualified for the supreme championship after they took the Cob of the Year title yesterday (8 October).

The main arena was packed out with spectators but Allister said that Blue, who is unbeaten this season and has prepared by going Autumn hunting, “stood like a rock”.

“There was a lovely atmosphere and Blue loves the attention. I knew that we had to put on a perfect performance to stand a chance of winning and my horse gave me everything,” said Allister.

“I’m known as the senior citizen of the showing world nowadays and I know that there won’t be many chances like this left for me, so I have to make the most of it while I can.”

Allister Hood  riding OUR CASHEL BLUE owned by Caroline Tyrrell, Champion in the Supreme Horse of The Year Championship during HOYS in the NEC in Warwickshire in the UK on 9th October 2016

HOYS hasn’t been all plain sailing for Allister though, after he took a tumble down some steps yesterday, pulling his inside thigh muscle in the process.

“I feel much better this evening thanks to some heavy strapping and some heat spray,” explained Allister.

Nine horses came forwards in total to the supreme championship and they were judged by Tom Best and David Blair.

“I think this is one of the best supreme competitions HOYS has ever seen in terms of the quality of performances,” said Allister.

The other contenders were:

  • Chantilly Bojangles ridden by Rae Colosso — small show hunter of the year
  • Dartans Barrack ridden by Fiona Hirst — working hunter of the year
  • Elusive ridden by Joanna Bates — large hack of the year
  • Hello Dolly ridden by Jayne Ross — ladies side saddle horse of the year
  • Colebourne ridden by Miranda Wallace — maxi cob of the year
  • Shaarinah ridden by David Froggatt — ridden purebred Arab of the year
  • Diamonds Are Forever — large riding horse of the year
  • The Life Of Riley ridden by Vicky Smith — heavyweight cob of the year

Read the full report from HOYS in the 13 October issue of Horse & Hound magazine