Donation will help RDA buy horse
Richmond Riding for the Disabled can start looking for a new horse thanks to a $5000 cash injection from the ANZ Staff Foundation.
Manager Helen Wright said their much-loved pony, Jack, was reaching the end of his working life at 26 years old.
The RDA wanted to find another horse that was reasonably small and solidly built to join their stable of 13 horses, which provide therapy and exercise for about 70 disabled riders each week.
Once the new horse was trained, they would consider sending Jack to retire with a family in Pigeon Valley after six to eight months.
Ms Wright said any new horse joining the RDA would need to be trained for the organisation's specialist programme which includes riding backwards, playing throwing and catching games with balls and obeying commands from the lead instead of the rider.
Ms Wright said this was a demanding change for some horses.
"They come in here and you think, ‘Oh, they're not going to cope' but they do."
Richmond RDA co-ordinator Jemma Omlo and president Alex Robertson accepted the cheque from Richmond ANZ branch manager Margaret Palmer and Duane Kale, who is a member of the staff foundation board and regional manager for Tasman and the Hutt area.
Mr Kale said the staff foundation was a voluntary initiative where staff could donate as much as they liked from their fortnightly pay cheque, and ANZ would match the donation dollar for dollar. The RDA's grant was one of about 40 payouts made to community groups this quarter.
"If I'm giving $5 or $10 per fortnight [personally], there's not much I can do with that but together, we can do a lot," Mr Kale said.
He said the scheme was put in place to better connect ANZ staff with their communities, and funds were allocated to charities which benefited the greatest section of that community.
Ms Omlo said a new horse could potentially give the RDA at least 10 years of therapeutic work, and benefit them and their clients for many years to come.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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