Aston Rowant handler Alan Hill has spoken of his great sense of pride at being crowned champion trainer.
Hill’s title was confirmed following the final meeting of the season at Umberleigh, near Barnstaple, on Saturday.
He topped the table in the Connolly’s Red Mills Trainers’ Championship (for handlers with eight horses or more) with 27 winners.
It saw him finish six ahead of Cherry Coward and Ed Walker, who tied for second.
Hill, who took over the training of the point-to-pointers from his wife, Lawney, at their Woodway Farm in 2005 when she was granted a professional licence, had established a clear advantage going into the final month of the season, but he refused to take anything for grant.
“As I kept saying to a lot of people Liverpool looked like they were going to win the league at one stage,” remarked the ardent Reds fan.
“It is a new championship. It is only in its second year, so it has never been recognised before.
“I think if anyone says you are a champion in whatever sport you do you are going to be proud of it because you have had a good season.”
Hill operated at an impressive strike rate, with his tally of winners coming from just over 80 runners, with a mild winter aiding his cause.
He said: “We never set out to win it and never dreamt I had a yard of horses strong enough to win it, but there has been a lot of hard work by the staff.
“The most important thing about the season was that all the horses ran up to form and have been well, and the weather has let us train them.”
Sharp Suit led the way for Hill with four wins plus a hunter chase success at Cheltenham, while Start Royal, with three wins and a hunter chase win at Fontwell also starred, along with Ravethebrave, who won four times between the flags.
Now Hill’s thought are already turning to next season.
“The worst bit is going to be trying to do it again,” he added.
“Like all things it is great winning it, but then there is obviously added pressure trying to defend it.”