Paralympic champion to play VIP role at RDA fundraising event

  • Double paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker will be the star guest at a charity event to raise money for disabled riders.

    The event is being organised by photographer Jo Hansford to mark the launch of her new equestrian photography business and raise funds for the Cotswold Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

    Jo has seen first-hand how horses can bring confidence and comfort to the disabled.

    “When we started planning our equine launch, it was great to think we could help Cotswold RDA as well,” said Jo. “After leaving school I worked with young adults with learning difficulties and we regularly took them riding.

    “It was an amazing experience seeing how these youngsters came alive in the saddle and how sensitive and patient the horses were to their needs.”

    Natasha, 24, will open an auction of equine memorabilia and donated products from equestrian companies.

    “Natasha is a true champion and inspiration to so many people,” added Jo. “Her presence at the event should ensure some excellent fundraising.”

    The Cotswold RDA is based at Cheltenham Racecourse and gives some 7,000 lessons a year for around 200 riders. Money raised through the auction will go towards the group’s target of £500,000.

    “We need to extend our indoor facilities and provide a warm waiting area for these riders, many of whom can’t take part in winter because it’s just too cold for them,” said centre manager Mo Begg. “This event will be a great boost to this much-needed fundraising campaign.”

    The charity night will take place at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury on 27 February.

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