An autistic rider who was able to keep her horse thanks to a fundraising campaign said she was “overwhelmed” by supporters’ generosity.

Anita Marsh, a columnist on the Epworth Bells newspaper, used her contacts in the media and equine world to help Lillith Campbell raise £2,000 to buy Meg.

The 14-year-old mare had been on loan to Ms Campbell for nearly a year but had been put up for sale by her owners.

Ms Campbell launched a funding page to raise money to buy the horse and keep her on the farm where she volunteers.

“I saw the page on social media and thought if I could help in any way, I would,” Mrs Marsh told H&H.

The 25-year-old from Chippenham, Wiltshire, said she was “almost lost for words” when she was told she could keep Meg.

She was bought up with horses as her mother rode, but had never had a horse of her own.

Describing Meg as her “lifeline”, Ms Campbell said having the mare with her “has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me”.

She paid tribute to Anita who helped spread the word locally in the press and on television to help promote the fundraising appeal, which met its £2,000 target.

“It was so kind-hearted of Anita to help me and Meg reach our goal. Thank you for everything you did to help us,” she said, adding: “I am almost lost for words. I cannot thank the people who donated to make this possible enough, I am so touched.

“To raise this amount of money in such a short period of time is brilliant. I am pretty overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.”

Ms Campbell is also fundraising for autism charity the Horse Boy Foundation.

The brainchild of Rupert Isaacson, the charity grew out of his experience with his son Rowan’s autism.

Set up as in the UK in 2013 it runs equine therapy and kinetic learning camps for families and brain training workshops for teachers on how best to work with autism in the home and classroom.

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