KEMPSHOTT endurance horse rider Annabelle Lyndon has been selected to ride for England in a home international competition in the Welsh mountains.

The 12-year-old was selected after winning the junior intermediate endurance ride at the National Pony Club Championships on her 19-year-old piebald mare Lacey.

The Basingstoke-born rider started endurance riding with the Hampshire Hunt Pony Club and qualified for the pony club championships in 2012.

The Hampshire team won and individually Lyndon came first, riding a distance of 32km – a victory she followed up by winning again the next year.

She was unable to ride in 2014 due to a serious back injury, but was back to the top of her game this year, winning the intermediate class.

The Kempshott rider has now joined Endurance GB and is part of the Mid South Group.

Endurance riding involves riding a set route with a map, so the riders need to have good map reading skills.

The ride has to be completed at a speed determined by the riders experience.

When the ride is finished, the pony has to be cooled down and presented to the vet within 30 minutes.

The vet checks the pony is still sound and could carry on if needs be.

The pony’s heart rate is also measured. The fitter the pony, the lower its heart rate will be.

It takes about six to nine months to get a pony and rider fit enough to compete in endurance.

Fitness is achieved by doing lots of different riding activities.

Dressage, mounted games, show jumping and cross country all form part of this training, as well as riding on long hacks across the countryside.

Being selected for the England Squad is an amazing achievement for a rider so young.

Lyndon is already thinking about how she might get to the World Equestrian Games in the future.