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A 50-year-old writer who shed 5st to ride in a horse race has written a book — ‘Jumbo to Jockey’ — about his experiences.

After the 2007 Christmas excesses, 16st 7lb Dominic Prince, from London, decided to combine weight loss with his dream of being a jockey.

When he was younger he rode, attended agricultural college and even wrote for Pony magazine. But, following a hunting accident, Dominic hadn’t ridden for 20 years.

He spent 10 months getting fit and started riding out for trainer Charlie Egerton.

And, on 6 November 2008, he took part in a charity race at Towcester, riding Dancing Marabout, a horse formerly ridden by AP McCoy. Dominic finished fifth.

“The pull of the horse is so strong that you overcome virtually anything to be with them,” he told a national newspaper. “Losing 5st in nine months was worth it and, more than that, I fulfilled a dream.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (20 January, 2011)