Greater opportunities on the horizon for Scottish disabled riders

  • Disabled riders in Scotland could soon have more opportunities to compete.

    The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is looking to build a new centre in the country, following the forced closure of Bannockburn RDA last August.

    Three potential sites have been found in and around Stirling using funds generated through the charity’s Ride-On campaign, launched last year to save its largest centre in Scotland.

    Bannockburn RDA had been at the Sauchieburn Centre in Stirling since 1993. But after an unresolved dispute with the landlord, it was forced to close.

    This left 200 disabled children and adults without a local riding and carriage-driving facility, including Lyn Dumbleton (pictured), who had been riding and volunteering at Bannockburn RDA for 18 years.

    Lyn is in the British squad for the 2015 Special Olympic World Games, to be held in Los Angeles this summer, but has now lost her training ground. “It’s been devastating,” said her mother Sue. “Lyn has lost her trainer and the horse she was familiar with. We are delighted that something is being done to build a new centre.”

    “Getting a new site identified and the fundraising underway is now a priority,” said Ed Bracher, RDA chief executive. He told H&H the new site should be agreed by Easter.

    But he said the project “will only succeed with the support of as many people as possible”.

    “It will take the dedication of individuals who understand that Stirling deserves the very best facilities for its disabled children and adults,” he said.

    Bannockburn had an indoor arena and the new centre will operate on the same scale. The weather in Scotland means many centres without indoor facilities have to cancel rides.

    The RDA’s Ravelrig centre near Edinburgh is also hoping to raise £1million to build an indoor school and expand facilities.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 29 January 2015

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