Allister Hood made a triumphant comeback to the show ring just months after a freak accident that left him with serious injuries.
Competing at the Three Shires Spring Festival at Arena UK, Lincolnshire, last Sunday, Hood partnered Lady Caroline Tyrell’s spectacular blue-and-white gelding Our Cashel Blue to take the cob title, and Annabel Jenks’s Diamonds Are Forever to land the riding horse honours.
Hood, who claimed the supreme horse title at the Royal International in 2014 with the hunter Hoppy Jumping, was crushed by a horse in January, sustaining head and internal injuries. But at Three Shires — BSPS Area 5 — he looked back to his supreme showman self.
“I felt fine today, I wasn’t in too much pain,” revealed Hood, who added that Our Cashel Blue was the first horse he sat on following the accident. “It’s really a case of working on my energy levels and muscle tone. My head injury and ribs have healed, and my split liver is behaving itself. I was very lucky that I was fit and active when the accident happened.”
Our Cashel Blue, now a seven-year-old, scored 44 out of a possible 50 marks from both ride and conformation judges at Horse of the Year Show last October to stand champion coloured.
Described as a “rather nervous character” when he first joined the Hoods’ in 2014, Cashel Blue has come on immeasurably since then, and his considerable presence shone through at Arena UK.