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Tributes paid to ‘loyal’ RDA horse after 19 years of fun and therapy

Tributes have been paid to a long-standing Riding for the Disabled (RDA) horse who gave 19 years of enjoyment to children and adults.

Fudge, of the Drum RDA group in Edinburgh, was put down on 3 January aged 27 owing to issues with arthritis.

Manager Ena Gaffney told H&H 15hh Fudge was bought for the centre in September 2000 using funds raised by Bonaly Primary School.

“He was a real character,” she said. “If an able-bodied rider had their leg on too strong, he would give them a warning by rubbing them on the wall. He would give a second warning, but a third time he would dump them.”

“But he always looked after his disabled riders. The amount of enjoyment he gave many adults and children was second to none. He was involved in our Turnaround programme, offering therapeutic therapy, and he could always understand when someone wasn’t feeling 100%.”

Ena added that Fudge had a mischievous side.

“The horses and ponies were trained to go into their own stables when they came in, but sometimes Fudge would go into another’s and then that pony would go into someone else’s,” she said.

“When they were turned out they would always canter to the bottom of the field and make you walk further to catch them.”

Ena said Fudge will be difficult to replace.

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“It takes a very special pony to do this job, Fudge was one of the safest and was trained to do things like stand while people were hoisted off,” she said.

“Fudge was a very loyal pony, he was handsome when he arrived and just as handsome the day he left us. He will be very sadly missed.”

Ena added that the centre are looking for a new recruit to join the RDA group and asked anyone who may have a suitable horse or pony to email the centre at drumrda@hotmail.co.uk

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