Video: Unbridled enthusiasm for disabled horse-riding

Two Yorkshire horse-riding enthusiasts with very different aims have been mentioned in the New Year Honours List.

Susan Dudley-Smith, 63, of Thorganby, near York, has been made an MBE for helping hundreds of severely disabled youngsters and adults experience the thrill of travelling on horseback.

Mrs Dudley-Smith has been a volunteer with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) for 35 years. The association empowers people with a range of disabilities to ride.

She said: "We help people with all forms of disabilities from those that are relatively minor to quadriplegics.

"We use adapted equipment and work hard to ensure even the most severely disabled person can ride.

"The sense of freedom for them is just incredible and while the horses do not go above a trot, it enables people who spend their lives in wheelchairs to see the world from a completely different height and have the freedom of going over types of terrain they would not normally go."

The RDA has 500 member groups across the UK using specially trained horses.

But only 80 offer carriage riding in specially adapted horse-drawn carriages that can accommodate wheelchairs.

Next year Mrs Dudley-Smith, who has two sons and four grandchildren, is leading a group of members for a week-long carriage riding trip through the 2,000- acre Escrick Park estate, near York.

She received the award for services to the riding association and the community.

James Gale, of Dore, Sheffield, has also been honoured with an OBE for his work in helping to set up the Northern Racing College.

The college, near Doncaster, opened in 1984 to provide more employment opportunities for youngsters in South Yorkshire and has since provided high quality training for generations of young people who want to work in the racing industry.

Today the college, which began through council grants secured by Mr Gale, has amenities including a jumping course, racehorse simulators and an indoor riding school.