50th birthday party for Leeds disabled riding group

A GOLDEN Jubilee party is being thrown this weekend to celebrate Leeds Area Riding for the Disabled Association's 50th anniversary.

Wenda Fletcher with Princess Anne meeting riders during her visit to the Leeds Area Groups Riding for the Disabled Association in January 2013.

The horse riding group, which has been giving disabled children and adults the chance to ride specially trained horses since April 1968, is staging the celebration at its base at Gateon Hill Farm on Wyke Lane In East Keswick on Saturday afternoon (April 28).

The free family friendly event will run from 1pm to 4pm and will include raffles, refreshments, child friendly games and certificate presentations.

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Wenda Fletcher, secretary for the association and long term trustee said: “We’re going to be dressing up the ponies in all gold for a prettiest pony competition, we have spray paint for their hooves.

“We’re going for an old fashioned theme, so there will be a coconut shy, whack the rat, and other traditional games.”

She added: “Our group started before the official Riding for Disabled Association was set up.

“There was a group of people that got together and thought that riding therapy would be a nice thing to do for the disabled community, and it all just escalated from there.

“We even had our charity President, Princess Anne, come to visit in January 2013 which was such a lovely day.”

Purely volunteer operated, the group was originally based in the Ling Bob Stables in Horsforth and relocated to a stable at Gateon Hill Farm in East Keswick in 2011.

The group currently has 45 volunteers and around 26 regular riders.

For more information, go to www.rda.org.uk or call 01535 636008.