Central London Families Muck in with Emile Faurie at Vauxhall City Farm
Twenty London families were able to receive free horse riding and stable management lessons led by Britain's Team Gold Medalist from the recent European Dressage Championships, Emile Faurie, over the October half term holidays.
Funded by Westminster Council's ward budget programme and in partnership with the Emile Faurie Foundation, London families were given the opportunity to learn how to ride and look after horses for free at Vauxhall City Farm.
David Gadsby, London representative for the British Equestrian Federation said, "At the BEF we are generating a legacy from the London 2012 Games and welcome this wonderful initiative thanks to Westminster Council. This is an opportunity for new riders to meet an Olympian, and to realise that riding, and just being around horses, is something everyone can enjoy. Even in the centre of London it is possible to truly escape into another world."
Founded in 2006 by one of the UK's leading equine sportsmen, The Emile Faurie Foundation is a unique collaboration of schools, riding establishments and fundraisers whose aim is to help as many children as possible experience the joys and benefits of horsemanship. During his visit, Olympian Emile talked to the young people about his achievements with horses to inspire them to reach for their goals.
Emile Faurie, said: "I am delighted that The Foundation has teamed up with Vauxhall City Farm to provide children and their families with the opportunity to ride and care for horses. I am grateful to Westminster City Council for their financial support and it was great to visit the farm."
Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Westminster Council's Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Transformation, said: "This is a fantastic example of how Westminster's ward budget programme can provide unique opportunities for all members of the community.
"I know the families of Tachbrook thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Vauxhall City Farm and taking part in this fun activity together over the half term holidays."
Linda Hinds, riding manager at Vauxhall City Farm, said: "This is a great opportunity for us to reach our local community, introduce them to the farm and let them enjoy our oasis in the middle of the city."
David added, "Many equestrian centres and city farms cater for disabled and disadvantaged riders and Emile's visit will help increase awareness of the many opportunities there are within our sport - volunteering to viable careers in and out of the city."
The scheme is being funded by the Tachbrook ward budget. Ward budgets were first introduced as a two-year pilot in 2008. A total of £50,000 was allocated to each of the 20 wards within Westminster for 2010/11 and also for 2011/12.