Equine charity worker wins national award

The Brooke charity worker Melissa Liszewski was presented with an animal welfare award from Ceva at a ceremony in Birmingham on 8 April.

The 28-year-old animal welfare advisor for The Brooke was nominated for the charity professional of the year award.

Melissa has worked for The Brooke for two years, helping to improve the lives of donkeys and horses in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“I’m so shocked but really honoured to have won the award. The Brooke has always been my dream organisation to work for,” she said.

Melissa works with animal owners to improve welfare and attitudes towards equines.

In some of the countries where she works working equines suffer terrible pain, exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.

For more information visit: www.thebrooke.org

RDA named Equifest charity of the year

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is the chosen charity at this year’s Equifest held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough from 12-16 August.

Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker, who started her career with RDA, will be doing a demonstration at the show on the Saturday and Sunday.

The charity will receive all the proceeds of the shop and drop and will be showcasing their valuable work to visitors on its stand.

“The RDA is delighted to be the chosen charity at this year’s Equifest. Being at Equifest will really help raise awareness of RDA and we are looking forward to meeting visitors who want to find out more about the work we do,” said Ed Bracher, RDA chief executive.

Betsy Branyan of Equifest said: “the RDA carry out invaluable work and we are very pleased to be supporting their magnificent efforts by choosing them as our charity for 2015.”

The RDA provides riding, carriage driving, vaulting and showjumping for 28,000 people with disabilities each year.

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

Funds from engagement ring donated to The Brooke

A newly engaged couple have decided not to have an engagement ring, but give the money to The Brooke instead.

Celeste Hill, 46, agreed straight away to her fiance 53-year-old Ross Pinkerton’s suggestion of not having an expensive diamond ring.

She said she would match the amount he had planned to spend and give all the money to support the work of The Brooke.

“If I ever had any doubts about being with Ross for the rest of my life, they disappeared when he came up with this amazing plan of helping donkeys and horses rather than giving me something shiny to put on my finger,” said Celeste.

She said she has seen “some awful things involving donkeys and horses” on her travels.

“The poor animals often have to carry unbearable loads, lack food, water, veterinary treatment and shelter from the scorching sun. I’m so pleased that working horses and donkeys will be helped and healed because of our engagement.”

The couple will get married in early 2016.

Nicola Wilson supports Sense at Badminton

The charity Sense will be supported by its ambassador Olympic event rider Nicola Wilson at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

The charity will be fundraising at Badminton (6-10 May) to fundraise and raise awareness of deafblindness.

Nicola was inspired by the work of the Sense stables to become an ambassador for the charity.

The stables are the only ones in the UK entirely adapted to support people with sight and hearing impairments.

“Deafblindness can add many barriers in life, but the Sense stables are a unique educational centre that helps people to engage with horses, be part of a team and feel truly independent,” said Nicola.

“I’m thrilled to lend my support to Sense at Badminton this year and celebrate the great work they do,” said Nicola.

Richard Kramer of Sense added: “We are delighted to be Badminton’s charity of the year and to have the support of Nicola Wilson, one of Britain’s leading riders.

“The money raised for Sense during the Badminton Horse Trials will help us support people with sight and hearing impairments live active and full lives and enjoy some of the things most people take for granted.”

For more information visit: www.badminton-horse.co.uk

RDA awards grants to groups

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has awarded grants totalling over £100,000 to 21 of its groups.

The charity’s grants programme was funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and BT supporters club.

Funds helped buy horses, a new carriage, a mounting platform, vaulting equipment and set up an after school riding club.

“The range of projects we have been able to fund thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and BT Supporters Club demonstrates the creative ways that groups are tackling the growing demand for RDA activities,” said Ed Bracher of the RDA.

Caroline Sanderson, a volunteer at Lincolnshire Wolds RDA, which has received funds for a new carriage, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have access to beautiful countryside and with the benefits of a purpose built carriage our disabled carriage drivers will be able to enjoy outdoor areas that they would otherwise not be able to access.

“This special carriage means that we can offer this activity to even more people from the local area. One of our drivers has a dream to eventually take part in an event and we hope that we can make this a reality for her.”