A Morpeth riding club is celebrating after one of its number achieved success in a UK equestrian competition.
Daniel Hayton, who is visually impaired, was thrilled to win both his classes during the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) National Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire earlier this month.
He was part of the nine-strong team of the Morpeth RDA Group that took part in the event. There were more than 400 competitors from across the UK in total.
Daniel said: “I had a great day and my pony, Midnight, was brilliant.
“I especially enjoyed the Countryside Challenge. I never expected to win, but it was awesome.”
The 10-year-old and his team-mates were in danger of missing the championships. But C4 Sightcare, which has an optical practice in Morpeth, agreed to sponsor the pony transport.
Daniel and his brother Peter started riding in sessions organised by the Useful Vision charity at the Pegasus Centre a couple of years ago. Morpeth RDA Group coach Laura Winter has been teaching the boys since they started.
Their mother, Brenda, said: “The lessons have been excellent and have helped them both develop more balance and confidence, and the support from RDA volunteers in sessions is tremendous.
“We were all delighted when we heard that C4 Sightcare had agreed to sponsor the pony transport and it was amazing for us as Daniel and Peter have both been patients there since they were babies and have always received excellent care from them.
“We had a brilliant family day at the RDA National Championships and it was good for Peter to be able to support his brother. Obviously, as parents we are so proud of Daniel’s achievements at the event, which were fantastic considering that he started riding just over two years ago.
“We really appreciate all the support from Morpeth RDA Group, Useful Vision and C4 Sightcare to get him to this level.”
She also thanked Daniel’s school, Burnside Primary in Cramlington, for allowing him time to attend the events and the support they have given him.
C4 Sightcare business partners and optometrists, Paul Boyle and Paul Garvey, said: “We were very pleased to be able to sponsor the pony transport and everyone in the practice was delighted to learn of Daniel’s success at the national championships.
“It was great to see Daniel when he came in with his mum and brother Peter to show us to show us his winner’s trophy, medal and rosettes.”