21/02/2012 RDA National Dressage Championship Qualifier Retires to The Horse Trust

The Horse Trust, a charity caring for the retirement and respite needs of working horses based in Speen, Buckinghamshire, is delighted to welcome Benjy from Wyfold Riding for the Disabled. 

Benjy, a 16 year old, 14.3hh, black gelding with a white star and some white on his muzzle, has retired to The Trust as he suffers from arthritis in his fetlocks and hocks.

Working for Wyfold RDA, a branch based in Kingwood,Henley-on-Thames, for 6 years, Benjy’s love of people and friendly nature made him an ideal pony to work with riders with both physical and mental disabilities.  Bursting with energy when he first arrived, he soon had to learn to go a little more slowly and gently in lessons to accommodate his new riders.

Benjy’s job was to assist adult and children with disabilities to help them gain self confidence, independence and improve their balance, posture and mobility. 

One such rider had suffered a stroke a number of years ago and was paralysed down one side.  She was particularly withdrawn when she joined Wyfold RDA but as Adrienne Heriot, Senior Instructor, explained, “This rider was first given one of our other ponies and they were successful in some local competitions, but as soon as we introduced her to Benjy you could really see a change in her. Benjy was able to take her to the next level and she rose to the challenge.  They developed a very trusting relationship.”

Benjy successfully qualified and took part in the Riding for the Disabled Dressage Championships at Hartpury in both 2009, placed 5th, and 2010, placed 4th, in his section.  He also took part in many local and riding club dressage competitions winning several rosettes and was a star attraction at the Wyfold RDA Christmas celebrations in 2011 when the sheep didn’t turn up!

Benjy’s arthritis soon meant he could no longer be ridden and the decision was taken to retire him to The Trust.

Adrienne Heriot is so pleased Benjy was offered a place at The Horse Trust and although they all miss him very much she said, “As soon as we arrived at the Home of Rest for Horses, where they specialise in caring for working horses and ponies, we were incredibly impressed with the facilities and so relieved that his future is going to be catered for so well.”

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust said, “We are delighted to be able to offer Benjy a happy and peaceful retirement having given such pleasure to so many during his