Hero horse backs campaign to find friends a new home

RBS Animal Hero of the Year is leading a campaign to find him and his friends a new home.

Picture: Sid trotting at the Aberdeen Riding School

Organised by local not for profit organisation Aberdeen Riding Club, the campaign aims to rehome 32 of Aberdeen’s horses and ponies.

Sid won Animal Hero of the Year due to his work for the Riding for the Disabled group which is hosted by Aberdeen Riding Club. Over the past twelve years, he has taught in excess of 5000 local people to horse ride.

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Sid and his friends are having to relocate after their fields and stables were released for development for a new housing complex in Milltimber.

Picture: Sid at the Aberdeen Riding School

Sally McCarthy Director of Aberdeen Riding Club, which is home to Sid, said: “We are a Not for Profit organisation that makes riding accessible for local people – particularly those that don’t have their own horse, as we have a large riding school which is often the only access non-horse owning riders get to their sport.

“We also host Riding for the Disabled, a local Hippotherapy group, train the RGU riding club and offer subsidised riding and therapeutic riding for local people that would not normally have access to this.”

The main aim of the riding school is to improve the lives of local people by providing them with the opportunity to benefit from a rewarding relationship with horses.

“We hope however that there is enough local support for us to continue to provide our much needed service. We have worked hard to source a location within the city boundaries and now we need to raise £300,000 to facilitate this move.”

The new location is in Anguston, on the edge of Peterculter and Drumoak and will be an ideal home for Sid and his friends with 115 acres of grazing.

Aberdeen Riding Club has secured planning permission for the new centre and now has a 25 year lease on the site.

Every week Sid works with 10 disabled riders, the youngest being only four years-old. He also participates in lessons about the anatomy of horses, and even allows himself to be covered with sticky labels. As one of the longest residents of the club, Sid has become an invaluable companion for many.

The campaign to fund a new home for Sid and his friends begins in earnest this week and local people are invited to donate to the cause by visiting Aberdeen Riding Club website and pressing the donate button. More information on fundraising efforts and what the funds will be used towards is available on the website.