Popular showman and producer Allister Hood is “recovering well” in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
The 63-year-old had recently returned from a judging trip to Australia, where he officiated at the Grand National Finals in Sydney.
He was taken ill at home near Diss, Norfolk, last week and was first admitted to West Suffolk Hospital. He was later transferred to the Royal Papworth, which specialises in heart conditions, but is hoping to be released in the next few days.
“Dad is hoping to be back in action in time to compete at Royal Windsor Horse Show [9 — 13 May],” said his daughter Louenna. “In the meantime, [Allister’s son] Oli is riding pretty much all day every day and Sofia [Scott] has moved down from Edinburgh to help, which is amazing.”
Allister, who has been showing at the top level for more than 48 years, had a stellar 2017 season. Among the high spots were his supreme and reserve at the Royal International Horse Show, where Annabel Jenks’ large riding horse Diamonds are Forever (Freddie) occupied the top spot ahead of Lady Caroline Tyrrell’s cob champion Our Cashel Blue.
Freddie was also section champion with Allister at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in October for the second year running, going on to stand supreme with Oli, who has now taken the ride.
Allister also partnered the 2016 HOYS supreme Our Cashel Blue at Birmingham where he, too, was section champion for the second year running.
Find out why the winner thought this year's championship was 'one of the best ever'
A horse whose showing career was nearly thwarted by an uneven growth spurt stands supreme
The rider suffered a ‘hangman’s break’ to her C2 vertebra
It has not all been plain sailing, though, as in February 2016, Allister sustained severe crush injuries in an accident, and he underwent an operation on his ankle after HOYS.
Team Hood has a full yard of horses to produce for the coming season.
“We would like to thank the West Suffolk Hospital and Papworth for their brilliant care — they have given him the best possible outcome,” said Louenna.
“All of our clients have been so supportive too. Fingers crossed he will be allowed home in the next few days.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.