Riding charity celebrates 2012
Wellington Riding for the Disabled saw 2012 off in style with a party last month, acknowledging accomplishments of the riders, volunteers and supporters.
The charitable organisation has been operating since 1974, providing horse-riding therapy for people with disabilities.
It is based within the grounds of the old Porirua Hospital.
On December 15, more than 150 guests attended a day of perfect weather, great food and festive celebration, manager Toni Gray said.
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown, regional councillors Jenny Brash and Barbara Donaldson, Capital & Coast District Health board member Margaret Faulkner, patron Mary Mountier and foundation supporters Mahu Wineera, Diana and Peter Standen and Rob Mayo were among those present.
Along with certificates to long- serving volunteers, annual awards were dished out.
Matt Brooks was named outstanding volunteer, most improved volunteer was Rachel Kessell, rider of the year was Isobel Caffrey, and most improved rider was James Verhaart.
The Kennedy Turner Trophy for the rider who showed resilience, determination and attitude was won by Joshua Wong.
Funders such as Pub Charity, NZCT, Mana Community Grants and Rotary were acknowledged, along with groundsman Mal Fyfe, contractor Kevin Wharfe and odd-job blokes Rob Lane and Murray Chapman.
Ms Gray says 2012 was a year of achievement for Wellington RDA, with their win in the Porirua section of the Wellington Airport Awards for sport and leisure and being a finalist in the Porirua Business Awards.
‘‘ We published the first annotated bibliography in New Zealand on horse-related therapy for people with dis- abilities in partnership with Victoria University and we added three new horses to our team – Magnum, Hamish and Tiki.
‘‘We continue our successful partnership with Arohata Women’s Prison, providing volunteering opportunities for release- ready inmates. Our riders competed at a number of events including the Marlborough Games Day, Napier Dressage Day and the first combined Hutt Valley/ Wellington RDA Games Day.
‘‘At the end of the day it’s all about our riders – while the inputs are substantial from volunteers, supporters and parents, the outcomes make it so worthwhile.’’