Buddy the pony joins disabled riding school

The King's Lynn Rotary Club has funded a new horse called Buddy, at the West Norfolk Riding for the

The King's Lynn Rotary Club has funded a new horse called Buddy, at the West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled Association. Bob Ward, Janis Bell and Buddy. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Dozens of disabled youngsters who love riding ponies are celebrating a special treat this Christmas.

Users of the Magpie Centre, home of West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled, have a new pony to train on, thanks to the generosity of a west Norfolk club.

Bosses at Wallington Hall, in Runcton Holme, near King's Lynn, needed a new off-lead pony because of an increase in the number of children coming to ride, and the Rotary club of King's Lynn duly raised £3,500 and bought Buddy.

The club's secretary Bob Ward said: 'A number of fundraising events were arranged, including a beer festival in conjunction with the Hanse House, a grand ball organised by Janis Bell, and we used money from our 100 club, run by Geoff Cheney.

'It came to £3,500. Buddy cost £1,500, vet bills were £200, new riding helmets cost £800 and a year's keep of the pony is estimated to cost £1,000.'

Buddy is a 14.1hh bay pony with a white flash down his face and is extremely gentle and friendly – most important qualities where disabled people are concerned.

The Magpie Centre's yard manager, Natalie Dade, said: 'We needed another horse because of an increase in young children coming to the centre to ride.

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'We needed an off-lead pony. That means no one is leading the children, who are doing it on their own. Buddy's perfect for that.'

The centre is offering people the chance to sponsor a pony this Christmas.

Visit the website: www.rda-westnorfolk.org, click on Sponsor a Pony, and make your choice.

Sponsorship lasts for a year. If you prefer, you can download a sponsorship form and return it to the Magpie Centre, Wallington Hall, Lynn Rd, Runcton Holme, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE33 0EP with a cheque, and if you do not have internet access, call the centre on 01553 810202 and ask for a sponsorship application form.

How have you made someone's Christmas special this year? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk