Lions race to help fund RDA

By Mike Dinsdale

The riders at Whangarei Riding for the Disabled are buzzing at the thought of getting on the back of new horses after a fundraising race day collected enough funds to get at least three new mounts for the group.

The Whangarei Riding for the Disabled (RDA) fundraising race day was held at the Whangarei Racing Club track at Ruakaka on Saturday, with hundreds of people and volunteers along to support the cause, with the eight-race day having a medieval theme.

The day was organised by the Whangarei Lions clubs with spokesman Colin Twyman saying the aim was to raise funds to buy three new horses for RDA.

Whangarei RDA manager Sue Neilson said the day was a huge success and RDA should definitely be able to get three new horses, at an estimated cost of $10,000 each, and possibly even four.

"It was superb weather and just a fantastic day with heaps of people and volunteers turning up," Ms Neilson said.

"We are just so rapt with the outcome and we must thank all the wonderful people who came along and those who helped with the day. To think that we got enough from one day for at least three new horses is quite hard to comprehend, but it's amazing."

RDA clients gave demonstrations of their riding skills between races and there was also a demonstration from the Northland Medieval Society.

She said the RDA centre normally had a herd of up to 10 horses, but was now down to five with the recent deaths of three horses.

"We want to own our own herd and have some younger horses there. Almost all of our horses are given to us when they are older, say 10 to 15 years old," Ms Neilson said.

RDA provides a high-quality, goal-orientated therapeutic riding service by integrating skilled riding instruction with natural horsemanship techniques.

- Northern Advocate

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