Ebony Horse Club in Brixton recently got a visit from an Olympic Gold medallist.
Yesterday leading British show jumper Ben Maher met members of the charity, which brings horse riding to some of London’s most disadvantaged young people, and gave them expert riding tuition and horse care advice.
Ahead of competing in the Global Champions Tour in London this weekend, the former world number one rider spent the afternoon at the club, he even got to meet the Club’s most famous resident: Pedro the Shetland pony.
As well as giving some riding lessons, Maher presented new horse equipment donated by Land Rover, Maher is an ambassador of, to Ebony Horse Club.
This included horse rugs and saddle pads for the ten horses and ponies that are stabled in Brixton.
Maher, who won a gold medal at London 2012 and is hoping to be selected for Rio 2016 later this year, said: “It’s a real privilege to come to Ebony Horse Club on behalf of Land Rover.”
“I have met some wonderful young people today, some of which have great riding skills and horsemanship. You can’t underestimate the effect that horses can have on people and so for these kids to be able to regularly partake in this sport right in the heart of their inner city community is brilliant.”
Susan Collins, Chair of Trustees, Ebony Horse Club said: “One of our aims is to encourage involvement in sport, especially for teenagers where a drop off rate is the greatest and when young people living in this area are most at risk from gang culture, drugs and other negative influences. It is inspiration for them to have an athlete of Ben’s calibre to visit.”
“Within the three years that we have had our centre, ten of our members have moved on in to further education, nine of them in Equine Studies. This is quite an achievement for kids growing up in Brixton.”
Ebony Horse Club relies entirely on donations, grant giving trusts, foundations and corporate organisations. For more information on how to donate visit www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk.