Club treasurer Andrea Brett presents James Rollo and Porter with their rosette.

Plea for ponies to help teach riding

A plea for ponies has been issued by a charity which helps children with disabilities in the area.

Sessions of Riding for the Disabled are ready to be re-started at The Priory and Garth Schools in Spalding, but more equine friends are needed.

“While we still have a large group of enthusiastic volunteers, we’re in desperate need of more ‘volunteer’ ponies suitable for the children to ride,” said club secretary Jane Goodger.

The popular sessions were halted at the start of the pandemic and the plan is to re-start them again in March, if more ponies can be recruited.

The Fenland Group of the Riding for the Disabled is based in Whaplode St Catherine and is one of a very few independent RDA groups in the country.

It started more than 40 years ago in a field in Tydd St Mary when a group of Pony Club mums wanted to give disabled children in the area the opportunity of learning to ride and spending time with ponies.

“More than 40 years on we are still going strong,” said Jane.

A highlight of last year’s anniversary was the success of James Rollo, a former pupil at The Priory School.

Now sponsored by the Fenland RDA group, James and his new horse Porter, qualified for the National Championships in September and took eighth place.

It was the first time the pair had competed in the Nationals and was a tremendous achievement.

Ponies which are volunteered to take part in sessions with the children ideally need to be 12hh and 15.2hh with good temperaments and suitable to be ridden by children.

“In our group the children only ride on the lead rein in walk and trot, and they use a mounting block.

“Ponies that go out and about to shows or are used for hacking are ideal, as are retirees looking for a steady quiet outing to make their life more interesting,” said Jane.

The group rides on a Wednesday morning in Whaplode St Catherine and reasonable costs of pony transport can be provided if necessary.

Anyone who can help either with a pony or as a club volunteer should email

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