Unstoppable show horse producer Oliver Hood was in the money on the first day of competition at the 2018 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) when he took the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse title on Zoe Turner’s exquisite Gateshead.
On his second appearance at the NEC, the six-year-old bay gelding put on a foot-perfect show to claim the honours over the second-placed Lizzie Harris and her own 10-year-old gelding Wild West.
Gateshead contested this championship last year during his first season with Allister Hood and finished sixth.
By First Defence and out of Tsar’s Pride, Gateshead was trained by Bryan Smart, whose wife Vicky Smart was a previous winner of the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse championship with her own Rogers Revenge in 2012.
Zoe rides out at the Hoods’ yard a few mornings a week and Gateshead trotted away with his HOYS ticket in June at the Bury Farm qualifier.
“He is a real showman with lots of presence,” said Oli. “And he really enjoys his job – sometimes a little too much. We’ll carry on doing what we’re doing; he will make a really nice riding horse.”
Another show producer who kept up her form on the first day of the show was Jayne Ross, who defended her ladies’ side saddle title with Time 2 Reflect. Jayne has dominated this particular championship for four successive years with two of Diane Stennett’s horses – the first two years with Hello Dolly – and this and last year with Time 2 Reflect.
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Runner-up was Georgina Wilkes’ 10-year-old mare Mexican Summer who moved up the line from their fourth and fifth placings in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday. Read the full 2018 Horse of the Year Show report next week for all the showjumping, showing and dressage action.