Wye Oak rider wins Western Riding award

Michael Langord on his horse Baileys with Bob Mayhew.

Michael Langord on his horse Baileys with Bob Mayhew.

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MICHAEL Langford is a pupil who’s matched his master.

He has won the same prestigious Western Riding award as the man who taught him, Trotton’s world-renowned ‘cowboy’ Bob Mayhew.

Michael, 27, who now trains and teaches at the Wye Oak stables complex near Midhurst, won this year’s British Reining Society’s coveted Silver Belt Buckle in the sport’s top professional category.

It followed his victory at the Western Equestrian Society’s annual championship in Warwickshire for the same event.

Reining is the American equivalent of European dressage and employs techniques perfected by cowboys as they escorted vast herds of cattle across the American Plains.

The horses, typically American ‘quarter horses’, perform fast and slow circles, lead changes, spins and sliding stops.

They get their name from their speed over a quarter of a mile, enabling them to catch and return runaway steers to the herd.