Media event date: 
26 July 2019
Date published: 
29 July 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Sydney’s disabled community will have greater access to equine therapy, with the South East Equestrian Club opened on Friday.

The $2 million establishment of the Club is a result of the Government’s $5 million upgrade of the Central Malabar Headland, and will provide hundreds of disabled people across Sydney access to a unique form of therapy.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the Equestrian Club’s opening was another example of the Government’s commitment to preserving and protecting the Malabar Headland, and its dedication to delivering better services for all Australians with a disability.

“This is fantastic news for Sydney’s disabled community,” Minister Hunt said.

“The opening of the South East Equestrian Club will significantly cut waiting lists at a number of other disabled riding centres in Sydney, including Ryde, Box Hill and Illawarra.”

“I’d particularly like to thank Donna Wright, Secretary of the Riding for the Disabled Malabar centre, and former Liberal candidate for the seat of Kingsford Smith, Michael Feneley, for their hard work on this project.”

Senator for New South Wales Hollie Hughes said the Equestrian Club would provide “a real boost” to the disabled community, and contribute to the vibrant landscape of the South Eastern suburbs of Sydney.

“The Malabar Headland is a special part of New South Wales. This important equine therapy centre will provide a real boost to the disabled community, and I’m thrilled it’s being opened in such a community-minded part of Sydney,” Hughes said.

Certified and registered teachers will assist participants groom, saddle, bridle, ride and walk beside six different horses, with fifteen stables allowing the centre to home nine more. 

Olwen Smith, Director of Riding for the Disabled (NSW) welcomed the opening of the new Club, saying it would allow an increased number of disabled people the chance to participate in equine therapy.

“I’m incredibly proud to see the South East Equestrian Centre open,” Ms Smith said.

“Equine therapy has helped so many in the disabled community make tremendous progress.

“It’s absolutely magic when a disabled person, who doesn’t communicate at all, suddenly realises they can steer a horse around a flag. It’s such a positive thing.”

The centre consists of a cart track, fifteen day yards, a jump arena and a dressage arena with lights.

“The four light posts surrounding the dressage arena will allow the club to facilitate significantly more after-school sessions through winter,” Ms Smith said.

“Participants will be able to learn balance, concentration, and play games while on horseback, while a brand new ramp and cart track will allow wheelchair users to wheel up onto the carriage and drive a horse around an obstacle course.”

The Morrison Government’s strong economic management ensures Australia’s disabled community continues to benefit from new investments, assistance and opportunities.

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