SOUTH Craven author Steven Wright has published a dramatic new book, which tells how he rode in his first horse race, at the age of 58.

Steven, and his ex-racehorse Adelphi Warrior, known as Alexander, took part in the charity Flat race at the point-to-point meeting at Heslaker Farm, Skipton, in April. The pair took on six rivals in the hotly-contested one and a quarter mile race, and raised more than £500 for the Candelighters charity.

Steven, of Silsden, only took up riding in his mid-forties, while Alexander had not been on a racecourse for seven years.

Steven's latest book, Race To My Dream, recounts how the pair trained for two months for the race, and describes the race itself from his viewpoint in the saddle. It also reflects on their seven-year roller coaster journey together.

He was only able to train for the race because he had taken redundancy from the Herald's sister paper, the Telegraph and Argus, where he had been the crime reporter for 13 years.

Steven, who formerly lived in Gargrave with his partner Jenny, said: "I wouldn't have had the time to get Alexander, or myself, properly race fit otherwise.

"It had always been my dream to own and ride my own racehorse, and then to ride in a race. I achieved the first part of the dream some years ago, but I never expected to fulfill the second part. It was the most amazing experience of my life."

Steven's best-selling first book Run With Your Heart, published by Racing Post Books, told of his early ups and downs with Alexander. Race To My Dream continues their journey.

He said: "It has taken us from the highs of competitive success to the lows of terrible accidents and serious injury. There have been both tears and laughter along the way. But I never expected the racetrack to be our destination.

"We have been through everything; from dramatic falls and painful injuries to uplifting triumphs and strange adventures, and built a strong partnership which enabled us, at the combined age of 71, to take on our greatest challenge.

"Along the way we fell for each other hook, line and sinker - so I guess this is also a kind of love story."

Steven and Alexander have competed successfully at a number of local events, including Coniston Hunter Trials and the hunter trial at Craven Country Ride at Coniston Cold. Following the race, they won at a showjumping event at Silsden Riding Club.

Race To My Dream is available as a Kindle e-book on Amazon at £3.50. It will shortly be available as a paperback, through Amazon at £8.99, and at £7.99.