11/11/2013 New Yatt Riding for the Disabled pony Scooby retires to The Horse Trust

Riding for the Disabled

30-year-old Scooby, a 11.2hh Shetland X New Forest piebald gelding, has worked at the New Yatt Riding for the Disabled Association (NYRDA) in North Leigh, West Oxfordshire since 1994. For nearly two decades he gave riding sessions to children with physical and learning disabilities. When children moved on to bigger horses they continued to help care for him whilst learning about stable management. Scooby also took part in games, races, local shows, sponsored rides and even featured in a musical ride for HRH Princess Anne, who opened New Yatt RDA's new centre in 1996.

New Yatt RDA

Scooby was 11 years old when he was brought by the New Yatt RDA. When he arrived his owners bought with him a £1000 donation, plus apples, carrots and feed for the horses.  At 30 years old Scooby can now only be ridden for very short periods and has earned his retirement.

New Yatt RDA volunteer Pat Kelly, who has been helping at the RDA center for 29 years, is retiring at the same time as Scooby after volunteering with them for 29 years. Pat, who brought Scooby to the The Horse Trust and helped settle him in to his new home said:

“Scooby is a cheeky, friendly little boy who was a favourite with everyone. We all have lots of great memories of him. Scooby might be 30 but no-one has told him. He still thinks he is 4! If he had a motto it would be when ‘I grow up I am going to be a racehorse’. Scooby was the perfect RDA pony, he would happily plod around the school with his young riders, but if he knew it was a race he was fiercely competitive and usually won.” She continued:

“Although he will be missed terribly at NYRDA I am so pleased that Scooby can spend his retirement at The Horse Trust and I am sure he will love it there just as much as Topsy does. I look forward to visiting them both regularly”.

Friends Reunited

Last week Scooby was reunited with fellow retired New Yatt RDA pony and Horse Trust resident Topsy. 14.3hh, Skewbald Mare Topsy is 29 years old and retired to The Horse Trust in January 2011 after 19 years’ at NYRDA.

The Horse Trust Chief Executive Jeanette Allen said. “We are delighted to be able to offer Scooby a well-deserved retirement after so many years spent helping disabled children. We are sure that he will settle in well to his retirement and become a firm favourite with staff and visitors just like his friend Topsy”.

Help us care for Scooby and Topsy

The Horse Trust depends on the support of the public to look after ponies like Scooby and Topsy. It costs the charity an average of £12 per day to look after each horse, pony and donkey. You can help us by sponsoring a horse like Topsy. Click to become an official friend of The Horse Trust.