Riders at a Riding for the Disables Association (RDA) centre in Warwickshire will benefit from the use of a new hydraulic lift to help them into the saddle.

The lift was installed at Stratford-upon-Avon RDA group last month, and has been described as a “flying carpet” by the group’s instructor Karen Arnold.

The lift was officially “opened” on Tuesday 31 March by para dressage rider Ricky Balshaw, who commenced his successful riding career with the RDA. Ricky went on to win a silver medal at the Bejing Paralympics in 2008.

Riders gave a demonstration of their riding skills to a packed audience of their parents, carers, RDA volunteers and financial supporters.

Rickysophia&karen on lift[1]

“This lift represents a significant investment for our group, says Donna Jenkins, Group Organiser.

“The ponies have taken to it with ease and it has already proved to be a positive experience for our riders, especially those with reduced mobility, as it is big enough to take a wheelchair.

“We have a lot of people to thank for their kind support and generosity, but primarily we are indebted to the owners of Home Farm and Dan Wain Equestrian, who operates the stable facility, for allowing us to install it alongside the arena.”

The lift which cost upwards of £15,000 to install has been funded through the kind generosity of a variety of sources including Mrs Linda Morris, a local businessman and his family, the supporters of a Garden Concert given by the A440 Chamber Orchestra last year in Adderbury and the fundraising efforts of the Stratford on Avon District Council 2014 Chair, Councillor Chris Mills and this year’s Chair, Councillor Simon Jackson as part of their year in office.

For more information on RDA visit: www.rda.org.uk

Donors Ricky & Charlotte[1]