Diamonds Are Forever has won the British Horse Society Supreme Ridden Horse Championship at Hickstead for the second year running.
It was Allister Hood who took the title at the Royal International Horse Show in 2017, and this year it went to his son Oliver.
Diamonds Are Forever picked up his supreme championship ticket in the Saracen Horse Feeds Supreme Riding Horse Championship – which he won for the third consecutive year.
The three judges in the Supreme Championship awarded the nine-year-old gelding, who is owned by Annabel Jenks, 29 out of 30.
‘Once in a lifetime’
“He’s a once in a lifetime horse, and we’re enjoying every minute with him,” said Oliver. “He’s really at his best when there’s a big crowd and he just goes up another gear.”
The Hoods are now hoping he will become the first horse to win the Supreme three times in a row. “He’s always an exciting horse to bring out, without question we’ll be aiming to come back and win again next year,” Oliver added.
In reserve with 28 points was Robert Walker and Jill Day’s Saracen Horse Feeds Supreme Hunter champion, View Point.
The De La Hey Family Supreme Pony Championship then followed, and this time it was Melanie Stanford’s Highland stallion Benbreac of Croila who took top spot, with Matthew Cooper riding.
Benbreac of Croila, the winner of the BSPS Heritage Mountain and Moorland victor, and Moluccas Bengal Beauty, the Leeman Family BSPS Supreme Show Pony Champion, both finished on 25 points so had to ‘ride off’ for the title.
In the end, the 11-year-old Highland’s rousing gallop got him the nod from the judges.
“He’s an absolute pony of a lifetime, and we bought him unhandled straight from the hillside in Scotland,” said Gemma Stanford, who is the BHS Director of Horse Welfare and the daughter of the pony’s owner.
“He’s had an incredible in-hand career and now he’s having an incredible ridden career too. He’s a working stallion and his offspring are now starting to show with great results. He’s like a Thoroughbred in a Highland’s body.”
Here’s what’s on, when:
RIHS 2018: Queen Elizabeth Cup Sunday 5 August 8pm
RIHS 2018: British Speed Classic Wednesday 8 August 7pm
RIHS 2018: Supreme Ridden Championship Sunday 12 August at 7.30pm