Teenage boy succeeds in side-saddle challenge on miracle cob

  • A teenager is planning on taking his side-saddle to the show ring after developing a taste for the riding style during a hunting fundraiser.

    William Pittendrigh, 18, spent a day hunting in a side-saddle on his showing star cob to raise money for a cancer charity.

    The achievement was made all the more special by the fact that he completed the day on his “horse of a lifetime”, Constellation II (“Alf”), who was diagnosed with a supposedly career-ending injury 18 months ago.

    He raised £2,200 for Cancer Research UK through his day with the Tynedale on 23 December.

    “It was great!” William told H&H. “I was out for three hours — an hour longer than I planned to be.

    “We had quite a bit of jumping and lots of galloping. Alf was amazing, it was just like a normal day [out hunting] for him.”

    William had help from Bruce Thorpley and Gail Brown in preparing for the challenge — and plans to keep it up.

    “I have actually bought the side-saddle and I’m going to carry on,” said William, adding he is planning to compete in some side-saddle working hunter classes and is also aiming for the Side-Saddle Association’s national championships.

    The combination have form in the show ring, including many appearances at the Royal International, at which they took the skewbald and piebald amateur championship title last year.

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    William has produced Alf from a four-year-old and also rehabilitated him following his injury in July 2016.

    The 10-year-old skewbald cob was competing in a Horse of the Year Show working hunter qualifier at the Scottish Horse Show in July 2016, when he tore a collateral ligament at the final fence.

    He has since returned to full work, winning at the Royal International a year after his injury, and is enjoying his hunting.

    William chose Cancer Research UK as he lost his grandparents to cancer and his mother has also undergone treatment for two malignant melanomas.

    Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/william-pittendrigh to donate.

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