New RDA gear stolen

Theft from con­tainer shocks char­ity’s vol­un­teer work­ers

Te Awamutu Courier - - Front Page - By CAIT­LAN JOHN­STON

Te Awa­mutu Rid­ing for the Dis­abled (RDA) was left sad­dened and shocked to find that their con­tainer stor­age unit was bro­ken into and thou­sands of dol­lars’ worth of equip­ment stolen over the week­end.

Te Awa­mutu RDA coach and man­ager Ros­alie Rea and the or­gan­i­sa­tions health and safety of­fi­cer Bruce Cochrane found the con­tainer door wide open on Sun­day morn­ing.

They be­lieve those re­spon­si­ble used a grinder or bolt cut­ters to break a latch and get in.

At least four new sad­dles and four new bri­dles were stolen leav­ing four out of the six horses the or­gan­i­sa­tion has with­out gear. The equip­ment is val­ued at about $3000. Around $40 was also taken from the or­gan­i­sa­tions fundrais­ing jar.

Ros­alie started with the or­gan­i­sa­tion two years ago and said that it had been a long time since they had new equip­ment and a lot of ef­fort was put in to get the items that have now been stolen from them.

“They knew what they were aim­ing for. Ev­ery­thing they took was brand new. It’s just hor­ri­ble,” said Ros­alie.

“I’m not go­ing to let it beat us. We’re bet­ter than that and we’ll make it work — it’s a mat­ter of hav­ing too.”

The or­gan­i­sa­tion, that op­er­ates solely on fundrais­ers, grants and do­na­tions, has been run­ning for 20 years and is based at the Ki­hik­ihi Do­main Eques­trian Park.

It cur­rently has ap­prox­i­mately 30 clients and the pro­gramme starts up for the year next month.

Ros­alie and vol­un­teers how­ever are back into it this week hav­ing to get the horses ready, which has been made harder due to the theft.

“I have to start work­ing the horses and get­ting them back into ex­er­cise so they’re ready for our clients and this (the theft) has just thrown a span­ner in the works,” said Ros­alie.

“I now have to work back through all our old stuff to see if there is any­thing that will fit them (the horses).”

A num­ber of peo­ple have ral­lied around the Te Awa­mutu RDA to do­nate equip­ment and help the or­gan­i­sa­tion get back on its feet.

“Peo­ple have been so gen­er­ous. My phone has been red hot with peo­ple of­fer­ing gear,” said Ros­alie.

She said one lo­cal farmer has even of­fered to re­place all the gear.

Waikato Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion is hav­ing its 60th An­niver­sary Rodeo on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 15 and $1 from the $20 en­try price will go to­wards Te Awa­mutu RDA.

The event is at the Ki­hik­ihi Do­main and starts at 8.30am.

Te Awa­mutu RDA also has a horse trek fundraiser event com­ing up and is sell­ing hay for be­tween $10 to $12.

The horse trek is on Satur­day, March 28 through Ko­rakonui’s hills and costs $50. Par­tic­i­pants are re­quired to bring their own horse. Lunch will be pro­vided.

Ros­alie and her team of vol­un­teers are cur­rently fig­ur­ing out how to bet­ter se­cure their gear.

“We need to save up and work out how to get a new shed put in, that’s what we’ve been work­ing to­wards for the past year al­ready,” said Ros­alie.

■ If you’d like to do­nate to the Te Awa­mutu RDA or find out more about the horse trek fundraiser call Ros­alie on 021 1539 395.

Photo / Cait­lan John­ston

Te Awa­mutu Rid­ing for the Dis­abled man­ager and coach Ros­alie Rea said they worked re­ally hard to get the new gear that has now been stolen.

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