Disabled Buxton rider celebrates his 60th birthday with the equestrian charity which indulged his passion for half his life

Buxton rider Neil Wain, second right, with riding instructor Bethan Garlick, Jonathan Elvin and Helen Atkin Group RDA secretary Janine Frost.
Buxton rider Neil Wain, second right, with riding instructor Bethan Garlick, Jonathan Elvin and Helen Atkin Group RDA secretary Janine Frost.

A disabled horse rider celebrated his 60th birthday with the equestrian charity which has allowed him to indulge his passion for over 30 years.

Neil Wain marked the milestone over coffee and cake along with fellow riders and volunteers from Helen Atkin Group Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at Buxton Riding School.

'Stalwart' Neil was one of the first riders to take part in the sessions - rarely missing his Thursday morning lessons and becoming 'proficient' at walking, trotting and riding out.

Neil is usually accompanied by support worker Jonathan Elvin from supported living accommodation provider the Rossendale Trust.

Jonathan said: "Riding regularly gives Neil a lot of confidence and stimulation and both he and I enjoy being out in the countryside and being with the horses."

Rachel Bamford, group leader at complex said: "It's really good for Neil to get out into the community and when I attended the group's 30th anniversary open day last year it was amazing to see just how good a rider he is."

Group Chairman Wendy Howe said: "Neil was one of the very first riders to join us and he has been a real stalwart over the years.

"It's obvious that he really enjoys his regular lessons and has become very proficient at walking, trotting and riding out.

"It's a real pleasure to share his special birthday celebrations and we hope he'll continue to ride with us for many more years to come."

Disabled riders from primary school to retirement age benefit from regular riding sessions supported by Helen Atkin Group RDA at Buxton Riding School.

Trustees and volunteers are currently raising funds to build a £140,000 covered equestrian arena so that they can ride more often throughout the year - giving an important boost both to their mental and physical health.

The latest event staged in aid of the project - an evening of equine-assisted therapy and Western riding demonstrations plus Maryland-style cowboy barbecue at Buxton

Riding School on Friday May 17 - raised £600.