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Pensioner enters show jumping competition despite no experience

A retired solicitor with no horse riding experience has proven he's not one to shirk a challenge by entering a show-jumping competition - at the age of 73.

Michael Woodcock will spend the next ten weeks learning to ride so he can take part, and raise funds for the Exmoor Pony Centre - a cause very close to his heart.

Michael is teaming up with an eight-year-old Exmoor Pony Apollo for his three month intensive training.

Michael Woodcock will spend the next ten weeks learning to ride so he can take part with pony Apollo Credit: ITV West Country

I was given a riding lesson as a joke present when I was sixty nine not knowing one end of a horse from another - and that's the honest truth!

– Michael Woodcock

But Michael said when he went to the Exmoor Pony Centre, run by the Moorland Mousie Trust, for a taster session he fell in love with the animals, vowing to learn how to ride.

Michael is teaming up with an eight-year-old Exmoor Pony Apollo for his three month intensive training Credit: ITV West Country

Michael is taking on the challenge to raise funds for the Exmoor Pony Centre at Dulverton.

He's been training at QSR Equestrian Centre in the Quantocks and his instructors say they've told him to expect a number of demanding challenges over the next few weeks.

He'll be having a number of one to one sessions with instructor Miguel Catela who comes from Portugal.

But he seems to have made a confident start. His big test won't come until July 27 however, at the Dunster County Fair.

Now it's all about spending as many hours as possible on the pony over the next few weeks.

Show jumping may seem like a giant leap for this pair but they're prepared to take a risk to raise the plight of the Exmoor Pony.