WITH Royal Ascot taking place this week, today we look back at all things equine in Bolton.

From this delve into our archives, it certainly would appear that we love horsing around.

Back in May 1975, the Bolton Evening News revealed how local people were mounting up for the fastest growing sports in England – horse-riding.

It said: “The traditional social barriers of the sport are being jumped and left behind.”

A year later, in August 1976, the town staged its first “international” horse show when riders from Bolton’s twin-towns, Paderborn and Le Mans, competed with local horsemen and women at the Seven Acres showground of Thicketford Road.

A team of 21 riders from Paderborn tackled the best of the Bolton and District Riding Club in a three-event contest for the “Perpetual Cup” donated by the German club.

Bolton’s team won the senior show-jumping and cross-country events to take the trophy.

With the growing popularity for horse riding in the borough, came the realisation of the problems riders had to tackle.

Members of the Turton and District Bridle Path Association launched a campaign in 1977 alerting drivers to take extra care when passing horse riders.

It came after five horse riders in Lancashire had been killed in road traffic accidents since the beginning of the year.

The pleasure to be enjoyed through horse riding made enthusiasts keen to spread the fun and in 1977 members of Bolton and District Riding Club did a four-mile sponsored ride in aid of the Disabled Riders Association.

Soon, people with disabilities were enjoying the sport and in that same year more than 50 members of the local Riding for the disabled Association took part in a sponsored Silver Jubilee riding event in Leverhulme Park, Bolton.

They hoped to raise around £300 from the day, which was attended by guest celebrities including Olympic showjumper David Broome, and showjumping legend Ted Edgar.

Pupils at Westhoughton Parochial School were lucky enough to have weekly horse riding lessons in the early 80s.

Every Thursday lunch hour they learned to ride as part of the school’s extra-curricular programme.

The campaign for better conditions for horse riders was still going strong in 1988 when 50 local riders took part in a 25-mile trek in an effort to have more bridlepaths opened up.

The event was organised by Turton and District Bridleway Association.