Penarth riding centre saddles up!

Local employer Admiral has given £500 to Downs-side Riding and Livery Centre in Penarth, enabling them to purchase new equipment essential for their horses’ wellbeing and the centre’s upkeep.

Sophie Vowles, who works in Admiral’s Claims department, applied for funds through the company’s Community Chest scheme. The money given was used to buy a number of new saddlecloths, yard forks, wheelbarrows and yard brooms. Downs-side Riding and Livery Centre is a family run business, which is located close to a country park with lakes.

They have a small team of instructors who provide riding lessons for children and adults, from complete beginners to the more experienced. Sophie teaches lessons at Downs-side and volunteers to help with the care and maintenance of the horses on the weekend.

She said, “Recently, the centre has been struggling with money and I heard about the Community Chest scheme at work. I’m so pleased they’ve given us funding for the new equipment, as it means the horses are well looked after and the yard hands will find it easier to do their jobs.

“I first started riding at Downs-side when I was six years old because my next door neighbour started going and I thought I’d try it too. Several weeks later I was hooked and have been riding and teaching at the centre ever since. I absolutely love the place - it’s my second home!”

Caroline Wheeler is the centre’s manager. She explained, “All of our hard-working volunteers are very pleased with the new equipment as it enables them to do their jobs easier and quicker, which means they get to spend more time with the horses they love.

“We are very grateful to Admiral for helping us out with funding as it means improved wellbeing for the horses and people who come to the centre. To say thank you for their generosity, we are now offering a 20% discount on riding lessons to all Admiral staff.”

Admiral’s Community Chest scheme has been running for over ten years and gives thousands of pounds annually to local charities and organisations in South Wales that its staff or their families are involved in.