St Albans Rotarians raise money to buy specialist horse for disabled group

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 June 2016

RDA presentation and Chloe on Anna

RDA presentation and Chloe on Anna

Archant

Rotarians have delighted disabled riders with their gift of £4,000 to buy a specialist horse.

RDA presentation and Chloe on AnnaRDA presentation and Chloe on Anna

A cheque for that sum was handed over to Cathy Leahy, a trustee of Riding for the Disabled (RDA), by Stephen Potter, president of the Rotary Club of St Albans, at a qualifying event held by the Eastern Region of RDA at Oaklands College.

Cathy said, “We are amazed and stunned; we have been wanting to acquire a weight bearing horse to cater for some of our adult riders and this gift will let us achieve that.”

The rotary club had heard of the need for a specialist horse and joined forces with Verulam Golf Club to organise a charity golf day early last month. It raised more than they expected and Stephen said: “Being able to gift a horse was incredible but the most moving thing was to meet Chloe Morrison, age 10, one of the riders in the gymkhana on Anna another of the Oaklands RDA horses.

“She was beaming, smiling and so confident. Her mother told me that riding had been the best possible therapy for her daughter. She started age seven and it had changed her life,”

He quipped: “You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth but not everyone can do what we have done, yet all donations big and small help support their work. I found out that a bale of hay costs £3 and a set of shoes for a pony costs £50.”

RDA was formed in 2008 to provide horse riding opportunities for riders with a range of disabilities in the local district.

Oaklands hold RDA sessions on Thursday evenings with riders of all ages participating. Anyone who would like to volunteer their help should click here.

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