A London riding centre is appealing for help in finding a suitable pony to help teach disabled riders

New Lodge Riding Centre has launched an appeal to raise £1,000 to help replace one of its riding for the disabled ponies who has had to be put down.

Twenty-five-year-old Little Star, who helpers describe as “living up to his name”, was at the centre for 17 years.

The smallest of the dozen or so horses and ponies used at the Mottingham Lane centre in south-east London, Little Star was particularly popular with the children.

The cash raised will also be used to buy tack for the new pony.

Hilary Crawford, centre manager for 17 years, said: ” I remember Little Star arriving and he has always been much loved. He was very special to everyone here. It was one of the little girl’s birthday on the day he was put down. And although she had already outgrown him, she would not open her birthday presents as she felt she should not be happy on such a sad day.

We are looking for an 11.2-12.2hh quiet, bombproof pony to replace Little Star, and if anyone can help we would be very pleased to hear from them.”

Little Star, who had suffered from a bowel condition for the past two years was put down after he stopped responding to treatment.

The non-profit making centre runs classes to help with mobility, balance and co-ordination for around 50 disabled riders a week and caters for all age groups from two to 70 years. A limited amount of liveries are also taken in to help fund the centre’s work.

If you would like to make a donation, cheques made payable to New Lodge Riding Centre, should be sent to Mottingham Lane, London SE9 4RT (tel: 020 8851 6447 ansaphone)

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