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Published 21st May 2018

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Fifteen riders at the Riding for the Disabled Association’s Unicorn Centre at Hemlington near Middlesbrough are celebrating after qualifying to compete at the Riding for the Disabled Association UK’s National Championships this summer. 

This prestigious event held at Hartpury near Gloucester is the biggest of its kind in the world for disabled riders and drivers and takes place on 13 – 15 July. 

They’ll be competing in showjumping, dressage or the Countryside Challenge. It’s an immense achievement and a huge cause for pride in the participating riders and the staff and volunteers who support and guide them. 

That’s the good news.  However, the Centre can only take three horses to the Championships, so they will not be able to provide a ride for each of the qualifying riders.  Unless cash is raised to pay expenses and the costs of hiring extra horses, some very disappointed riders may have to be left behind.

 The Unicorn Centre is organising a huge team to accompany the riders and three Centre horses including coaches, and volunteers along with some learners studying on the Unicorn Centre Diploma courses in Work-Based Horse Care.  It will cost £2000 to pay for transport for the horses and the team, horse hire, stabling, food and accommodation, entry fees and equipment. 

Centre Manager Claire Pitt said, “Our finances are always under huge strain and we cannot cover all the expenses to get Team Unicorn to the Championships, so I’m appealing personally to everyone in the community and to local businesses to help by making a small donation towards our costs. Otherwise we are facing the possibility that all our young riders may not being able to attend this world status event. 

She continued, “We’ve had riders qualify for the National Championships since they started in 2004 and we’re so proud of their achievements.  People have always been really generous and it would be great if we could raise enough again this year to help these talented riders achieve their dream.  They’re training so hard and really want to go to the Championships.”  

Donations for the Unicorn Centre team can be made direct to the Unicorn Centre by calling 01642 576222 or by visiting their BTMyDonate page at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/teamunicorn/464595



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