A FORMER racehorse who became a local celebrity when his owner wrote a book about their dream day at the races is battling a serious injury.

Steven Wright rode his ex-steeplechaser Adelphi Warrior, known as Alexander, in a race at Skipton finishing third and raising more than £500 for a cancer charity.

Alexander hit the headlines again when Steven took his beloved thoroughbred to meet elderly residents at a development in Ilkley.

But the 20-year-old horse has suffered a leg injury which Steven, 65, feared might prove fatal.

The retired journalist of Silsden said: “Alexander damaged a tendon. He was so badly lame at Christmas I thought he might not recover. It was heartbreaking because he is my best pal and I love him to bits.”

He has been visiting Alexander twice a day at his home, Farfield Livery Centre, near Bolton Abbey/Addingham, to walk him round, and the exercise seems to be working.

“Our vet is delighted with his progress. It will take time but I hope and pray we can get him fit so he can go back out in the field with his pals, and I can ride him again.

“I will be there for him as long as it takes. I owe him that after everything he has done for me. We have had an amazing journey together and I want it to continue. He is such a popular horse and I was so proud when he met the elderly folk. They all came to see him in the garden and he was so gentle. He made their day.”

Steven, a former Bradford Telegraph & Argus Crime Reporter, has owned Alexander for 14 years since he left racing at six. The pair have had great success competing locally at showjumping, cross-country and one day eventing.

He said: “I am just a hobby rider so to take part in the race was a dream come true and the most thrilling day of my life.”

Steven then wrote Race To My Dream about training and riding Alexander in the race. Now The Little Bookshop in Skipton, and The Grove Bookshop in Ilkley, have put the book on their shelves. The Skipton bookstore is also stocking Steven’s crime thriller Transferred Malice.

He said: “I am so grateful to them for giving people the chance to read about my wonderful horse. It has given me a massive boost at this difficult time.”