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Muirfield Riding Therapy

An East Lothian charity which provides riding therapy for children and adults with various disabilities is starting its 30th year with a special raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Muirfield Riding Therapy

Muirfield Riding Therapy has been gifted a hospitality package at Saturday’s Caledonian Cup meeting (Sat 15 Sept) by an unnamed donor in addition to receiving a donation of £10,000.

Five races at the meeting will be named after the charity to heighten awareness of the work it does, and it will use the sponsorship deal to thank volunteer staff and corporate sponsors and supporters.

The fully self-funded charity provides its pioneering therapy to around 120 children and adults each week, is supported by 250 volunteers, and needs to raise around £100,000 a year to maintain its therapy services.

Muirfield Riding Therapy’s riders have a wide range of disabilities and life affecting conditions both physical and mental. The volunteer-led organisation is supported by specialist physiotherapists and its 12 trained therapy ponies.

Muirfield Riding Therapy chair, Michelle Sutton, said: “We are indebted for this wonderful gesture which means we can start our 30th year at a gallop. It costs an average of £3000 a year to maintain one of our ponies and we rely on corporate sponsorship and the efforts of many generous individuals to continue our work in East Lothian and beyond.

“The donation is most welcome and the high profile awareness we are being afforded at the Caledonian Cup Raceday is invaluable and helps greatly in explaining what we do and highlighting how people benefit from therapeutic riding.”

The Caledonian Cup Race Day features seven races with prize money in excess of £70,0000 and gets underway with the five furlong EBF Fillies’ Condition Stakes at 3.30pm. The £25,000 feature race at 5.45pm, the Caledonian Cup Handicap, has attracted a number of quality entries from top trainers.

Musselburgh Racecourse senior operations and commercial manager, Sarah Montgomery, said: “We have a long standing relationship with Muirfield Riding Therapy which was one of our nominated charities some years ago. The work they do is of great value to many people and their families and we are delighted to be able to support this well-loved local equestrian related charity.”

Volunteers will undertake a collection during the race meeting to further boost charity funds. Gates open on Saturday at 1pm and all children aged 17 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

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Musselburgh Racecourse marches toward the end of its summer flat season with its annual spectacular, the Supporting Your Services Family Raceday on Sunday. (30 Sept).