Buxton-based disabled riding charity launching appeal for covered equestrian area

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A Buxton-based disabled horse riding charity is planning to build a £140,000 covered equestrian arena - allowing riders of all ages to ride more often throughout the year.

The 150 sq metre facility would include solar panels to generate electricity, full disabled access and toilets, office space and a spectator area.

It would enable charity Helen Atkin Group Riding for the Disabled to offer more riding sessions, as well as expanding to encompass carriage driving, dressage and showjumping.

Now that planning permission has been granted the charity will launch a crowdfunding appeal on Monday February 25 to raise £4,000 towards building costs by midnight on March 23.

If the target is successfully reached Sport England will pledge a matching £4,000 - plus an additional £40,000 grant to see the dream become reality.

Group chairman Wendy Howe said: “Providing a covered arena would literally transform the service we can offer to disabled riders of all ages and abilities from across the High Peak.

“It’s also a really positive way to mark the 50th anniversary of the national RDA charity. Not only would it enable our group to operate more often - it would offer protection against cold, wet and windy conditions which can affect our riders in a variety of ways.

“Mentally, it can be distracting and distressing, while physically it can be painful - restricting muscle movement.

“We would also be able to expand the number of equestrian activities we offer to encourage our riders to extend their skills and perhaps compete in regional and national RDA competitions.”

Wendy said the charity was ‘very excited’ about the project.

She said: “We realise we have set ourselves an ambitious target but if we achieve our initial crowdfunding pledge of £4,000, we will be well on our way to reaching our goal.

“I hope as many people as possible will give generously over the next few weeks to get us off to a great start.”

A Beetle Drive fundraising event will be held on March 3 at Buxton’s Burbage Institute, on Nursery Lane, between 2pm and 4.30pm.

Tickets cost £8 for adults and £4 for children and are available on the door. Admission includes tea and cake.

To donate to the appeal, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rda-covered-equestrian-arena.