Riders and volunteers at the Pendle Riding for the Disabled Group are cheering after their appeal for cash was heard and a trio of talented riders can now go the national championships next month.
Salterforth’s Jordan McGladdery (22) and two other riders Felicity Coulthard (29) and Vikki Howarth (33) will represent Pendle at the Riding for the Disabled Association’s British National Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire in July.
In May, chief instructor Kate Bailey and the team of volunteers issued a last ditch appeal for funding in the Barnoldswick and Earby Times after the charity faced the unprecedented situation of three riders qualifying for the prestigious competition in the same year and not being able to let them go due to financial constraints.
Three companies responded to the appeal for help donating a total of £900; Cloud Technology Solutions, the Ability Superstore and Kevin’s Roofing in Barrowford, with the first of those owned by Jordan’s uncle who was unaware of the difficulties the group faced. Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee also agreed to donate £500 to the group at Tuesday night’s meeting as councillors viewed it as a worthwhile cause.
With entry forms now filled and accepted, Kate Bailey said: “We are ecstatic that the appeal has been successful and thrilled that we have got the money which means we are on our way. We have three fabulous riders and we hope to do well.
“The championships are so inspirational. It really is mindblowing to see it. People who have no arms ride and can control a horse using their teeth. It’s amazing to see people overcoming such disability. The motto is it’s what you can do what counts and it certainly applies to the championships.”
Three horses are set to travel down with the trio of riders; Hamish, Molly and Duster.
Vikki, from Manchester, will ride in the visually impaired dressage competition, Jordan, who suffers with a learning disability, will show off her skills in both the dressage and showjumping disciplines while Beijing 2008 Paralympic silver medallist Felicity from Darwen, who lives with cerebral palsy, is competing in both standard and freestyle dressage events.
An excited Jordan said: “It’s great. I just have to keep Molly right now, she can get a bit giddy. We call her jolly Molly.”
As well as riding, there are a host of associated activities alongside the horse events at the championships.
Pendle will be represented in the arts and crafts exhibition there too as young Pendle rider Jesse Fallows, son of Kevin who responded to the appeal, will have his equine-themed piece of artwork on display at the Gloucestershire showcase.