A TRUSTED mainstay of a horse riding charity is set to enjoy retirement after having his reins hung up after 22 years' faithful service.

Ginger Pop, a chestnut Welsh pony, was one of the original twelve ponies when the Unicorn Centre at Hemlington, Middlesbrough opened in 1998.

He started his Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) career in 1992 at the Great Ayton and District Group in Stokesley where he regularly visited schools to provided therapy and riding lessons to children.

Loading article content

The 12 hand-high pony has helped hundreds of severely disabled children by providing therapy sessions wearing his sheepskin rug or therapy saddle.

Volunteer Julie Elphee said, “I’ve worked with Ginger Pop throughout his 22 years as an RDA pony. He’s been an absolute star, and we’ll all miss him terribly. He’s a very special pony who meant so much to so many children.”

Apart from his great love of children, Ginger liked nothing better than sharing a stable with his best friend RDA pony Acorn, which they did for the whole of their RDA careers. He has now moved to live with a new family and once again will be sharing his field with Acorn.

The Unicorn Centre is looking for two horses to replace Ginger Pop to start their RDA training.

Anyone who can help is urged to contact centre manager Claire Pitt on 01642-576222.