THE story of how a Kendal-born thoroughbred horse turned a troubled man’s life around is to be published this autumn.
Adelphi Warrior was born on a Kendal farm ten years ago and sold on with the prospect of a bright future in steeplechasing.
However, he quickly failed on the racecourse, and came, by chance, into the life of Steven Wright, 55, crime reporter on The Westmorland Gazette’s sister paper, The Telegraph & Argus in Bradford.
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Steven’s partner, Jenny Loweth, is Kendal-born and worked on the Gazette in the 1970s. Her parents, Alan and Margaret Ruston, live at Underwood, in the town.
In his own words, Steven was a ‘middle-aged bankrupt with a failed marriage and a drink problem’ when he first met chestnut Adelphi Warrior, known as Alexander.
Alexander had been at Ian and Karen Conroy’s Low Fell Stud Farm at Grange-over-Sands before his brief racing career.
After losing his only two races, the Conroys took him back, and it was at Meathop that Steven met Alexander four years ago, when his partner Jenny was selling a horse.
Steven ‘fell instantly in love’ with the failed racehorse, recognising a fellow ‘lost soul’ in ‘a similar dark place’.
“He was in need of help as much as I was,” recalled Steven. “His future looked very cloudy. He could have ended up in tins because not many people want failed ex-racehorses.”
The journalist, who lives near Skipton, was passionate about horse racing as a child, but never had chance to ride until he met horse-owner Jenny ten years ago.
Steven said his life had ‘hit the buffers’, and riding set him ‘on the road back to sanity’.
Steven and Alexander now compete in local hunter trials and show jumping competitions.
Steven describes himself as ‘a bumbling Mr Bean of a hobby rider’, but says their modest success has brought them both great happiness.
“I always dreamed about riding horses as a kid and I got the chance, and now I’m doing it, so that’s the childhood dream come true, but also for him (Alexander), having failed on the racecourse, I’m thrilled for him. He’s now succeeding in lots of different ways.”
Steven’s book, Run With Your Heart: How Two of Life’s Losers Found a Winning Partnership, has sold more than 2,000 copies since being self-published on Amazon Kindle 18 months ago.
The story is now to be published by Racing Post Books as an illustrated paperback, on September 26.
Steven said: “I hope our story encour-ages other riders to give ex-racehorses like him another chance in life.”