The High Sheriff of Buckingham, Countess Elizabeth Howe, has presented Ride High chief executive Rachel Medhill with an award for “great and valuable services to the community”.

The Milton Keynes-based charity caters for over 60 disadvantaged children every week.

Children are taught to ride, care for horses and develop social and literacy skills through an associated classroom programme.

The charity also involves the children in volunteering and helps to organise further education, or employment within the equine industry.

Former communications director of the British Equestrian Federation and charity founder Ms Medhill said: “Having ridden all my life I have seen at first hand the impact and effect that horses can have on people who are troubled or suffering.

“I set up Ride High with the intention of giving a few people a great experience. That has moved on over the past two years and now we have a full time operation which is Badminton Horse Trials, Horse of the Year Show, Towcester racecourse and the Shire Horse Society.

It was set up in 2009 and is funded by grants — such as from Sport Relief, donations, fundraising events and support from equestrian companies.

For more information visit: www.ridehigh.org.

For more up-to-date news, see tomorrow’s Horse & Hound (21 April, 2011)