3 UK riding centres will receive free equipment for disabled riders. This is thanks to a £21,000 share in Sport England Get Equipped’s £1.1million funding of sports equipment for disabled people.
The selected centres — Newham Riding School & Association, London, Conquest Centre for Disabled Riders, Taunton and Morpeth Group Riding for the Disabled, Northumberland — will benefit from new kit, such as to wheelchair-accessible mounting ramps, reins, saddle pads and stirrups, a driving carriage and a new horse, as well as specialised training.
The Get Equipped programme was designed to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympics, and fulfil the demand for more equipment for sporting organisations which are struggling to provide facilities for disabled participants. Sport facilities were eligible to apply for a maximum of £10,000 per project. 236 facilities applied, across 33 different sports — and 141 projects received funding, including 3 of the 4 riding centres that applied.
Hannah Brook, Newham Riding School & Association trustee, said the grant would fund new stirrup toe caps, balance straps, reins, an overhead tracking hoist, a double-sided mounting platform, an arena leveller and saddle pads.
“It will enable us to create a more sustainable facility and provide an enhanced experience for larger numbers of disabled people, including those with more complex needs,” she said.
Maggie Still, the British Equestrian Federation’s head of participation, said the support was “greatly appreciated”.
“[It] will be directed to those people delivering at local level who need it the most,” she said. “It will play a big part in bringing riding to more people in better places and therefore driving an improved quality experience.”