Children enjoyed a day of horseplay during a special visit to Newmarket. The Pony Academy Day was organised by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and took place at the British School of Racing.
It was for siblings who are either bereaved or have a brother or sister receiving care at one of the EACH hospices. Ten children took part and enjoyed the chance to meet and ride ponies, as well as learning how to look after them.
EACH Groups and Events Co-ordinator Joely Allard said: “It was an amazing day and the children had a great time.
“They loved it, got on so well and were clearly on a real high afterwards. Our day started with a fun art activity, where they had the chance to colour their own jockey silks.
“Then, after being fitted out with boots and helmets, they mucked out the stables, gave the ponies fresh hay and water and had a riding session.”
The children were also taught how to care for ponies, brushing and grooming them, plaiting manes and oiling hooves. After that there was a ‘best turned out’ competition with certificates and rosettes handed out to the winners.
“Our sincere thanks go to Grace Allen, from The Pony Academy,” added Joely.
“It was the first time she’d done an event like this but she was fantastic and brilliant with the children.”
There was a waiting list for the event and the lucky ten who took part ranged in age from eight to 12. Six of them have a connection to Milton and four to The Treehouse, in Ipswich.
EACH runs sibling days during the school holidays, for children aged five upwards. They allow siblings to come together, have fun and make friends in a safe environment.
EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
Pictures: Dik Ng/EACH