The Shetland stallion, Lakeland Lightning, one of the greatest characters in the breed, has died at the age of 33.

Lightning was bought at the Aberdeen Sales 28 years ago for £28 by Dianna and John Staveley of the Eastlands Stud.

In his long life with the Staveleys, he packed in successes at the highest level in harness (as a single and in a team), under saddle, and in-hand.

He won in-hand at the Ponies of Britain Stallion show, and the following weekend won the Beamish Driving Trials; was champion and reserve in the inter-breed scurry at Royal Windsor four yours in succession; won under saddle at the Royal Highland, and was successful at many county shows,winning his last championship at the age of 21.

Lightning’s son, Eastlands Highlight, was reserve champion at the Breed show as a two-year-year-old, and many of his progeny are in Europe.

“He was a loyal little pony, trying his guts out, and wherever he went, you were in with a chance,” said Dianna. “It’s so very quiet without him.”