SHARE
Horse power . . . In front of the new ramp and platforms at the Dunedin Riding for the Disabled Association grounds in Fairfield are (from left) Kamin Hale (10) on Fudge, Holly Tyson (6) on Uli and Keira Wallace (11) on Elmo. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

It is out with the old and in with the new at the Dunedin Riding for the Disabled Association.

The association recently received a new ramp with funding from the Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust and New Zealand Community Trust.

“The previous ramp that we had was far too steep for wheelchairs and it also wasn’t very user-friendly,” operations manager Katy Ferguson said.

“It was very old [and] very narrow.”

The new ramp was wider, less steep and had platforms to help smaller children get on ponies and adults to get on bigger horses, she said.

“That was something we have wanted to upgrade for a few years now but we had to find a good builder, get the funds organised and have a bit of a plan.”

Ms Ferguson said the association was about halfway through its fundraising for an all-weather arena after receiving some “substantial funding” from local and national trusts.

“We’re chipping away at it.”

She hoped the construction on the $200,000 project on the RDA grounds would begin this winter, after the rest of the money was raised and consents had been approved.

A few corporate sponsorships and applications were still in the works, she said.

“We are obviously not going to start erecting anything until we have fully funded the project.”

The association now had about 60 riders and the arena would allow the riders with disabilities programme to run all year.

“[That] will be huge for our riders.”