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Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has recently received its 1000th donation of an equine flu vaccine from the animal health company, Merial.

The Broadlands Group, which has eight ponies at its Surrey centre, was the recipient of the 1000th free booster earlier this month.

“It has saved us a small fortune,” said Broadlands Group chair, Nigel Hoppitt.

“The RDA is all about the ponies and we are totally reliant on them, so they need to be fit and healthy all the time. Having them vaccinated takes away one of those worries.”

The RDA has been receiving free vaccines from Merial since 2011.

RDA chief executive Ed Bracher, said: “The support we receive from Merial is absolutely incredible and this [1000th vaccine] is a really significant milestone.

“This kind of support is vital both in terms of keeping the horses fit for purpose and allowing our volunteers to concentrate on delivering the service to people with disabilities, So we are incredibly grateful.”