Meet ‘Mary the Mule’: an update on 2016 Charity of the Year

In 2016 we raised over £14,000 for our St Mary’s ‘Charity of the Year’ which was Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled Association.  On Wednesday, Will and the Charities Committee had a chance to visit them to see how the funds have been used.

The indoor riding arena at Gaddesden Place RDA used to be concrete covered with a deep layer of shredded rubber from old car tyres.  It was soft but made the area rather dark and very dusty – affecting the horses and very difficult for any riders and helpers who have asthma. Thanks to Mary Mule – named after St Mary’s – all this has changed!  The arena has been stripped out and the old sprinkler system and redundant water tank have gone.  Now a deep layer of bright clean sand is the perfect surface for the horses and riders, smoothed out by Mary Mule who tows a harrow round the arena to keep it smooth and fresh.

But that is not all. Mary gets put to work daily – carrying feed and bales, moving water drums around and ferrying supplies.

The money raised by St Mary’s bought the brand new Mule which is expected to last 15 to 20 years, and paid for a dedicated shed to be built to keep it safe and secure. Day by day the money we raised last year will be making a difference for the work of Riding for the Disabled for many years to come.

Thank you to everyone who played a part and made this possible for them.

Our fundraising programme continues this year with support for our Charity of the Year 2017, Open Doors and their work with persecuted Christians in Iraq.  Read more about their work, look out for forthcoming fundraising events (including the Harvest Supper on Saturday 30th September and a Chamber Music Concert on 25th November), or click here to make a donation.

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