A Lancashire-based millionaire has stepped in to help the staff at a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) centre in Wrexham after reading a story in H&H.

The Clywd Special Riding Centre learned this month it needed an operator’s licence to use its 7.5tonne lorry. Unable to afford the costs, it faced having to give up its horsebox (news, 15 October).

Now high-end horsebox dealer and H&H subscriber Mark Viper of Preston has offered to pick up the bills.

“I was astounded the RDA needed an operator’s licence just because they are registered at Companies House,” he said. “So many people drive big 10-horse boxes, but because it’s for their private use don’t need an operator’s licence. It does not seem fair.”

However this is not the case. EU law requires operators using goods vehicles over 3.5tonnes, for the commercial carriage of goods (including horses), or anyone with a vehicle over 7.5tonnes to have an operator’s licence (Download our plain english guide to transport regulations [PDF]).

Clwyd manager Tessa Chew said: “It’s great news that Mark Viper has offered to pay for the application — and we are thrilled at the enormous amount of support H&H readers have given us generally. People have offered financial and practical help — we’re overwhelmed.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (29 October, ’09)