A 10-hour round trip from Norfolk to Somerset pays off for Diss horse rider Oliver Hood

Oliver Hood on Royal Rock. Picture: SMR Photos.

Oliver Hood on Royal Rock. Picture: SMR Photos. - Credit: Archant

A 10-hour round trip from Norfolk to the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier in Somerset paid off for Diss-based Oliver Hood.

He partnered Yvonne Botham's 12-year-old former Flat campaigner, Royal Rock, to claim his Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) ticket in the hotly-contested qualifier.

Since coming out of training in October 2014, the former top-class sprinter – who has winnings of more than £140,000 to his name – has twice qualified for this prestigious SEIB showing final.

'He wasn't quite developed enough in 2015 so was unplaced [at HOYS], but he was fourth there last year,' said Oliver's father, producer Allister. 'His strength is the ride he gives — he's just so soft and smooth with a lovely rhythm and stride.'

The Racehorse to Riding horse series, which began 14 years ago, is designed to promote the re-education of Thoroughbred racehorses after their career on the track is over.