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Riding for the disabled gets new Battle Hill arena

Wellington Riding for the Disabled officially opened the doors to its brand new arena at Battle Hill Farm Forest Regional Park on Sunday with a crowd of attendees along to celebrate.

Among them were Wellington Riding for the Disabled President and Coach Donna Kennedy, Governor General Patsy Reddy, Greater Wellington Regional Council deputy chair Barbara Donaldson and Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.

Riding for the Disabled is a nationwide not-for-profit organisation whose Wellington branch started looking for a new home several years ago when they discovered their previous facility on Kenepuru Hospital land was needed for new developments. Greater Wellington was able to release land in Battle Hill Farm Forest Park for a new covered arena and RDA began fundraising in early 2017.

Cr Donaldson congratulated Riding for the Disabled and said it has been a long journey to get to where they are today.

“Greater Wellington was proud to support Riding for the Disabled by finding suitable land for them and working with them on the development of the facility. RDA provides an excellent form of therapy for people with physical, intellectual, emotional and social challenges. Our park rangers have enjoyed working alongside them and it is fantastic to see this arena finally brought to life.

“Their presence in the Park helps us achieve our vision for a thriving and connected region which meets the needs of the community,” Cr Donaldson said.

Wayne Boness, Greater Wellington Western Parks Principal Ranger, said Riding for the Disabled fought hard to get this arena built.

“The whole team put in a huge amount of work into fundraising and as well as undertaking design and ecological work to get the arena constructed. We’ve combined well together to get the best outcomes for everyone – this facility is a great fit with Battle Hill given the other equestrian activities that go on there.

“This is something Riding for the Disabled can be really proud of, it’s a smart facility – they will certainly notice the difference as we come into winter, and the facility will be able to provide all-season operations” Wayne said.

Donna Kennedy was pleased with the turnout on the day and thanked attendees for coming along to celebrate this achievement. She thanked the dedicated parents and families of riders as well as volunteers for their contributions to helping with fundraising efforts over the past couple of years.

“Everyone has provided a huge amount of support – we would never have been able to do this without them,” said Donna.


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