Lo­cals help rider take next step

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS -

THOMAS Ful­ton is rid­ing his way to suc­cess around Aus­tralia and is ask­ing the com­mu­nity to get be­hind him on his jour­ney.

The 15-year-old has been se­lected to rep­re­sent Tas­ma­nia in the RDA (Rid­ing for the Dis­abled) Na­tional Dis­ci­pline Cham­pi­onships in Vic­to­ria next month and com­mu­nity groups are rais­ing money to help get him there.

His mother Daniella says the fundrais­ing is vi­tal to help Thomas make the horse rid­ing dres­sage cham­pi­onships at the Wer­ribee Park Na­tional Eques­trian Cen­tre out­side Mel­bourne.

“Our goal is $2000 per rider so we reached out to the com­mu­nity and Ro­tary have been very sup­port­ive as well as the Lions club and lo­cal mem­bers,” Mrs Ful­ton said.

The Ro­tary Club of the Der­went Val­ley has do­nated $200 to­wards his trip and club mem­ber Frank Pearce says it makes per­fect sense.

“We like to sup­port lo­cal peo­ple who are rep­re­sent­ing our part of the state at na­tional or in­ter­na­tional events,” he said. “And this is per­fect.”

Thomas was di­ag­nosed with an XYY chro­mo­some ab­nor­mal­ity five years ago and Mrs Ful­ton said that rid­ing was an ideal form of ther­apy for his con­di­tion.

“When Tom was 10, main­stream school was break­ing down for us,” she said. “I was look­ing for some­thing that took the pres­sure off him. With horses they don’t judge. So he was able to de­velop his con­fi­dence through the horse rid­ing.”

Thomas had com­peted on the na­tional stage be­fore and was a for­mer state cham­pion in the dres­sage dis­ci­pline, the same dis­ci­pline he would tackle in the cham­pi­onships next month.

He said he en­joyed the sport and was look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing with it.

“As long as there is some­thing that I can keep go­ing up so it gets harder,” he said.

Peo­ple who wish to do­nate can con­tact Daniella Ful­ton on 6261 5666.

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