Keen horse rider Georgia Kearney won a Jack Petchey Achievement Award for overcoming her anxieties about riding off-lead. 14 year old Georgia has cerebral palsy and riding without someone leading her was a big step in developing both her self-confidence and her riding ability. Georgia regularly attends Barrow Farm Riding School for the Disabled, near Chelmsford in Essex, which enables people with special needs and disabilities to develop their abilities and enrich their lives through riding.
Georgia is now able to do simple off-lead exercises confidently as well as advancing to trotting on the horse by herself. In spring 2013, she competed at the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) regional competition and assuredly completed the countryside challenge despite it being a wet and windy day!
She said, “Winning the Jack Petchey Award helped me to raise my self-esteem and confidence. I love riding. I go every Saturday, but I would go everyday if I could!”
Georgia spent some of the £200 she received from winning the award on high-visibility vests for team games and riding on bridle paths. The rest of the money was used to purchase a cork board for Barrow Farm. The board is used to display photos of Georgia and her fellow riders, and keep members up to date with news about upcoming events.
Georgia’s mum Sharon said, “The award evening holds a special place in Georgia’s memory. She often speaks about it and she keeps photos of the event in her bedroom. She is very proud of receiving the certificate and medallion and keeps them on display on the mantel piece in the front room!”
To find out more about Barrow Farm and horse riding for the disabled, click here!
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