Sport England funded Ebony Horse Club Community Riding Centre, which brings sporting opportunities to young people, was officially opened this week by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
Based in Brixton, the Riding Centre is the first purpose built riding centre in inner London in more than 30 years and includes stabling for eight horses, a paddock, arena, classroom and offices.
Founded in 1996 by Ros Spearing, Ebony Horse Club aims to raise the aspirations of young people in a deprived area, and while they have been bringing the benefits of horse riding to young and troubled people for 15 years, they’ve been limited by not owning their own facility.
“Ebony Horse Club has been limited by not owning its own facilities,” said Ros. “Fifteen years on and we now have a modern community riding centre that will help us to meet the needs of many more children and young people. I am immensely grateful to all our supporters without whom this new riding centre in the heart of Brixton would not be possible. The riding centre has been in development for eight years and is a testament to the young people, all whom have inspired our work.”
Through the support of Sport England, charitable trusts and the British Equestrian Federation, the Club were able to reach their ambitious fundraising target of £1.7million for the new facility.
“Ebony Horse Club has been improving the lives of young people for many years and through our National Lottery investment of £600,000 they will be able to continue using sport to inspire and help many more young people,” said Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Director of Property. “Not only is the work of Ros and her team an inspiration and example to others, it is also helping ensure we build a lasting legacy beyond next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
During HRH’s visit The Duchess, who is President of the club, watched a display of horsemanship by Ebony’s young riders and also met volunteers, youth workers, patrons and staff.
“The whole family has waited so long to hear this news,” said Karen Reid, a local parent who has three children at the club. “Ebony has really supported my children especially my son, through some quite difficult times. The children love going to the stables after school and at weekends. It’s great that so many more children from the area will benefit and have access to this support.”
For more information about Ebony Horse Club, visit http://www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk/index.htm