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Introducing Bendigo

Posted 11 March 2024

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Tucked away in Marsfield is a remarkable organisation doing amazing things, and one of its newest participants is Bendigo the horse. He’s the latest addition to the horses at Riding for Disabled Ryde.

Over the last year, Community Bank Epping has built a great relationship with the volunteers who make the RDA Centre come alive. Totally reliant on volunteer time and energy, and community funding, the Centre runs regular riding programs for a wide range of children and adults with disabilities. Whether it is a local special school, classes from public schools, young people or adults – RDA classes open up a new world to participants increasing confidence, resilience and fun!

Watching a child conquer their fears to sit and ride a horse is an amazing experience. But all of this is only possible through the hard work of dedicated locals, and the support of organisations with grants and funding.

Through Community Bank Epping’s grants program, we became involved in 2023 through a grant for solar panels on the roof of the arena – which has already helped reduce the Centre’s running costs. Then we assisted with funds to support transport to and from the Centre for children from special schools – helping parents to not have to fund raise so their children can participate.

When the Centre then said they needed support to secure an additional horse (and thereby open up more riding opportunities), how could we say no? So now, after months of patient training by the Centre’s horse whisperer, Megan, this horse is being introduced into the classes. Renamed Bendigo (or Bendy for short!), he is a beautiful calm presence and quickly learning his place along side his stablemates.

Long may he ride.

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