WILLIAM Pittendrigh and his horses have excelled at national and international events during a “quite unbelievable” few weeks.

The 20-year-old from Kiln Pit Hill guided his loyal companion Silver Lough to the intermediate working hunter pony championship at the Royal International Horse Show in Wales.

Within days, the pair represented England at the BSPS International team championships, finishing second in the working hunter section, and helping the team finish second overall.

“I really am very pleased,” said William. “It has been quite unbelievable. I wasn’t expecting to do as well as we did.

“But obviously you have goals and you know what you’re capable of.”

The golden period began with the Royal International in late July, where William was also clear fifth in the light horse workers’ category with Silver Lough, and guided Touch of Midnight to fourth place in the heavyweight horse workers’ section.

The story of the 12-year-old Touch of Midnight is an inspirational one. A hunter originally bought for his dad, Stewart, the horse had not been ridden by William until two years ago.

“This is his first year of competition,” said William. “Despite his age, he is very inexperienced. But he qualified for the Horse of the Year Show, which is the biggest event of its kind in the world.

“I believed he had potential for competition and thought ‘why not?’ He has been great. I enjoy working with different horses. They are all different shapes and sizes, and they all feel different. Success, I find, comes with practice and repetition. You have to be kind to horses, and treat them how you would like to be treated.

“It’s rewarding when you see them full of confidence and performing at their best.”

William said his dad, and mum Sarah, who introduced him to riding at the age of three, deserve a lot of credit.

He added: “When you go away to compete at big prestigious events there’s a lot to think about, not just in terms of competition, but also the logistics. My parents help me and they have been brilliant.

“But it really is an honour to be part of such great events, both individually and as part a team. I thoroughly enjoyed representing England.”

William is now preparing for next month’s British Summer Championships in Grantham.