We know that we are incredibly blessed by the amazing support of our volunteers, and when our volunteers reach a milestone we feel it only right and fitting that we make a bit of a song and dance about it.    So when Linda Tait reached 20 years of service with us we wanted to make sure that someone special presented her long service award.

Linda has been a Group Instructor for many years but only recently stepped back into due to a two hip replacement operations, however that has not stopped her volunteering and she is seen every week helping out.  Her incredibly generous donation of £10,000 a few years ago made the difference in allowing us to build our barn, which we called “Mums Barn” as a fitting tribute in memory of Linda’s Mum who sadly passed away in April 2015.  Having the barn has meant our ponies can be kept dry in the cold and wet winter months and allowed us to keep operating.  Linda has been a great role model to so many riders, so when we thought about who best to present the award the first person we thought of was young Kitty Kerr, who has also gone through some challenging times recently.

Kitty is one of our real little stars who started riding with us some 4 years ago. Linda was her very first riding instructor so they developed a strong bond which has led to Kitty coming on leaps and bounds in her riding skills.   Kitty has also recently been in the news driving a fundraising campaign to help pay for surgery ( Selective Dorsal Rhisotomy  – SDR which is an operation that cuts up to 75% of the sensory nerves in the spine to take away spasticity  that children like Kitty, who has cerebral palsy, have to fight against every day. The surgery took place in November so Kitty hasn’t been able to ride with us until January.  Mum, Tina said “Kitty wasn’t allowed to ride for 6 weeks following surgery and she really missed coming,  but she’s now back in the saddle and was absolutely thrilled to be asked to present Linda with her award”.

Also at the presentation was Richard King from BBC Children in Need who support us with some of the costs to run our After School Club and Holiday Riding.    Kitty is a regular at the Holiday Riding Club, and these fun filled sessions are a highlight of her school holidays.

Congratulations to Linda – here’s to the next 10 years and we are so glad to see Kitty fully recovered and back in the saddle.