The work of Bulldogs Gym and Cardiff Riding School
Plenary Wednesday 10 May 201717:41:05
Spoken Contribution – 17:41:05
Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer, and thanks to Caroline for that account of the work of Bulldogs gym. The work of these kinds of community activity groups is a very important part of the fabric of our society. I’m sure there are such groups in everyone’s constituencies and regions.
In my region, there’s Cardiff Riding School, for instance, located in Pontcanna fields, surrounded by 35 acres of parkland. The school first opened in 1970 and is owned and operated by Cardiff council as part of their leisure provision for residents. This allows the school to offer a variety of lessons and courses at affordable prices for children, adults and, importantly, disabled riders. In addition to horse-riding skills, disabled riders in particular build on their mobility, control, listening skills, co-ordination, self-belief and confidence.
There are some 40 horses and ponies at the school, of which nine are horses owned by others, livery horses, some of which are used in lessons, working livery. The service attracts, on average, 35,000 users per annum. The centre was recently recognised by the Riding for the Disabled Association, which awarded them the first accessibility mark status in Wales. The centre is also approved by the British Horse Society. There are 10 full-time staff at the centre, which is also supported by the Friends of Cardiff Riding School, who organise vital fundraising events and open days. I would like to commend the riding school for the work that it does in maintaining this crucial service, in particular for disabled riders.