Meet Annandale Helios - known as Lio for short.
The 8-year-old black dun Connemara-cross gelding is the first bought by the Whangarei Riding for the Disabled group from the proceeds of a July fundraising event.
"We've got over $20,000 from the race day fundraiser at Ruakaka to spend on up to five horses," says Whangarei Riding for the Disabled (RDA) operations manager Sue Neilson.
Ms Neilson describes the 13'1 hands high pony as playful, intelligent and "currently under training".
"He's learnt quite fast what his job is in the arena - in the paddock he's still a young horse," she said.
The July 20 fundraising event was organised by Lions Whangarei members Jack Broome and Terry Ward, Lions Kamo member Colin Twyman and Judy Knight, who was the organiser of the luncheon.
Mr Broome said it was the fourth charity race meeting at Ruakaka Lions had organised with the Whangarei Racing Club.
Ms Neilson said Lio brings the Riding for the Disabled's stable up to six horses. "It means we can have 10 extra people a week."
With the money raised she hopes to bring it up to ten horses. "That's a full house for us." RDA provides a high-quality, goal-orientated therapeutic riding service by integrating skilled riding instruction with natural horsemanship techniques.