Horse riding on offer at Chiswick Community Sports Games
Mascot races, horseriding and cycle powered smoothie blending were just some of the activities available to the families of Turnham Green, London at the Chiswick Community Sports Games. On Saturday 17 August, crowds saw a variety of sports descend on the park to encourage England to get active. Amongst those attending the event were TV presenter and household name Clare Balding and World Class Development Para- Dressage rider, Erin Orford.
Hoof, the British Equestrian Federations Olympic and Paralympic legacy campaign, was in attendance offering prospective riders a taste of life in the saddle on Henry, the mechanical horse. Henry travels the length and breadth of England to give people a feel for horse riding as well as offering information on how to get involved through riding, driving, vaulting and volunteering by directing people to the hoofride website (www.hoofride.co.uk).
Community Sports Games are local events that happen all over the nation with the aim of exposing people to new sports and encouraging them to check out their local sporting facility. Erin, a member of the UK Sport funded World Class Development Programme attended the event with Hoof sharing stories of her experiences and enlightening people of the benefits horse riding has brought her. Erin is a bilateral amputee and is missing the radius in both arms, which means that she has shortened lower arms and four fingers on each hand.
“The best thing about the sport is that it is not specific to one type of physique or size, both men and women can compete equally. Riding has helped me so much with my balance and disability. It has taught me how to engage my core as well as respect and discipline“.
Erin described her journey into equestrianism:
“I started riding at two with my local Riding for the Disabled Association for therapy; horses have played a huge role in my life since that moment. I visited the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004 and it inspired me to take my riding a step further. Having never competed I went to a Talent Spotting event at Morton Morrell college and was encouraged to pursue my dream“.
Clare Balding, who conducted the opening ceremony, commented:
“It is really important for kids and families in towns and cities to know that they can access horse riding and riding facilities. Henry is such an imaginative way to give people a flavour for riding”.