Sport England has donated £600,000 of National Lottery Funding to London riding charity the Ebony Horse Club.

The funds will go towards a new £1.75million riding centre in the south London district of Brixton.

The Ebony Horse Club was set up 15 years ago by Ros Spearing.

“I saw the need to occupy the local children,” said Ros, now director of Ebony Horse Club.

“I was a rider, and wanted to take them riding. It was just five of children to begin with, but they loved it so much and tried so hard that it just grew.”

Since then, the Ebony Horse Club has taught riding to hundreds of children in the London district of Brixton, despite the hindrance of never owning riding facilities.

The aim is to open the centre in time for the 2012 Olympics, to become part of the equestrian Olympic Legacy Project.

Campaigners have so far raised £1.2 million, and are awaiting news on a further £400,000. They are searching for donors for the remaining £150,000.

Tessa Jowell, MP for Brixton, said: “My congratulations and admiration go to everyone at Ebony Horse Club who have argued, cajoled, persuaded and campaigned to bring an equestrian centre to Brixton.”

For more information see www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk or call 07802 206 737