Hood and Flyn ride to glory at the NEC

Oliver Hood from near Diss enjoyed success at last week's Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham's NEC, riding Leonard Holt's Act Flyn Lad in a foot perfect show to take the Heavyweight Show Hunter class in strong company.

'Mr Holt is now 97 years old and he's been to watch his horse at every show for the last two years,' said Oliver. 'Sadly he's recently had a stroke so missed HOYS, which was a huge shame, however he is making a good recovery.'

The two-and-a-half year old partnership, which was third at HOYS last year, went on to stand Reserve Hunter Champion behind Oathills Take the Biscuit, ridden by Danielle Heath.

'My big aim for next year is to take the Hunter Championship,' says the talented 24-year-old rider and producer, who is now allowing Flyn some well-earned time out.

'He's been in work for two years solid and now he's earned himself a break. He's just being turned out to get woolly and relax and will be brought back for next season.'


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Oliver also rode ex-racehorse Bridgham to second place in the RoR SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse class.

Owned by Paul Rackham, who lives in the village of Bridgham, he had two wins in point to points when training with the Blooms in Wymondham.

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'He was almost too polite as a racehorse,' says Oliver. 'He would seem to get to the front and then drop back to let someone else win! So it was decided he should have a change of career.'

Brought to Oliver's yard last winter, the Thoroughbred had a busy winter training, which clearly paid off.

'He handled the atmosphere really well which is a very encouraging sign for the future,' said Oliver, who clearly has showing in the blood as his father Allister is also a successful and well known producer and judge.

Allister also enjoyed HOYS success, riding Sue Wythe's coloured non-native The Panda to second place in the CHAPS Coloured Horse or Pony of the Year. Allister was also third in the Equimax/Eraquell Lightweight Riding Cob on Lady Caroline Tyrrell's The Comedian.

The partnership had qualified at the Royal Norfolk Show and won the Novice Lightweight Cob class at Equifest, so are clearly on form.

Amy Underwood from Bury also had a fantastic show, taking the Reserve Riding Horse title riding her mother Pearl's nine-year-old gelding Military Crisis. The partnership had won the small Riding Horse Section earlier on in the show, picking up prize money of more than �130.

This striking liver chestnut gelding is by Infantry out of a mare called Gulf Crisis and they have had a very strong first season together.

Amy was also second in the Large Riding Horse section on Broadstone Dolce Vita, another of her mother's fantastic horses.

The Underwood showing team qualified 19 horses for HOYS but had around 25 out on the circuit this year, some of which were novices and are clearly future stars.

Mrs Underwood's 'head guy' Leon King also had a great show. Now based with Pearl and in charge of producing the horses to such a high standard, Leon won the Lightweight Hunter class on Loch Royal II and was also second in the Large Hacks and standing Reserve Champion with Wallaroo Bay.

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