HEREFORDSHIRE Riding for the Disabled is celebrating the approval of planning permission to construct a modern riding therapy cemtre at its new site between Llangrove and Whitchurch in the south of the county.

The £1 million new centre will include a 30m by 60m indoor riding arena and hydraulic rider hoist, viewing area, 15 stables and a mechanical therapy horse room.

A spokesperson said the RDA has outgrown its current home at Holme Lacy College and has been looking for a larger site that will allow for much-needed development.


Over 100 people, aged five to 75, currently attend weekly riding therapy sessions, but the new facility will allow the charity to extend this and also offer weekend sessions.

The new arena will be more than twice the size of the one at Holme Lacy, allowing for exciting activities such as RDA show jumping.

RDA supports everyone with a learning or physical impairment, as well as those with mental health conditions, with fully qualified and specially trained coaches supporting individuals to determine how riding and contact with horses (also known as equine human therapy) might best enhance their physical and mental well-being.

Work on the Llangrove site is anticipated to begin this summer, but help is still needed to support both the build and implementation of this exciting project.

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"We are very fortunate to have already secured funds to start this project, but we need financial help to complete the entire build," said Sarah Wells, a trustee for the Herefordshire RDA.

”We’re launching our ‘Build a Barn’ campaign and would love to hear from any local businesses who may be able to help with any construction materials. This might be anything from gates to fence posts or hardcore to kitchen appliances, we’re going to need it all.

"We’re also launching a crowd funding campaign for everyone to get involved; it is such a big project that every penny really does count.”