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VRC funds Riding for the Disabled Pakenham’s new arena

26 August 2022 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is delighted to help bring Riding for the Disabled Pakenham’s vision for a new all-weather arena to life via a donation worth almost $60,000 from the VRC Equine Wellbeing Fund.

Riding for the Disabled is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia.

The financial contribution is on top of the VRC’s donation of a special all-weather material that has been re-purposed from the Flemington training track to form the surface of the new arena.

The arena has been an important part of the program at RDA Pakenham for two months, with VRC staff also lending their time and equipment to help decorate the area.  

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the club was pleased to support RDA Pakenham.

“We are delighted to support Riding for the Disabled Pakenham in bringing their new all-weather arena to life” Mr Rosich said.

“The program at RDA Pakenham will make a huge difference to the lives of children and adults living with intellectual, physical, sensory and learning disabilities and highlights the amazing bond between horses and humans.”

Two years ago the VRC created the VRC Equine Wellbeing Fund, kick-started with $1 million from ticket sales and topped up annually with five per cent of all VRC membership fees, meaning every racegoer is helping ensure the long term wellbeing of our amazing equine athletes.

The fund and wider equine welfare strategy supports thoroughbreds and the people who love them in a variety of ways, from investing in research and state of the art technology to ensure optimum fitness while racing to supporting their pathways into post-racing careers.

RDA Pakenham Vice President Paul Beck said the organisation was grateful for the VRC’s donation.

“We are so appreciative of this significant donation from the Victoria Racing Club,” Mr Beck said.

 “We envisage having an undercover facility and we want it to be a centre where everyone is welcome.

“It’s just awesome what the Victoria Racing Club have done for us.”

The Riding for the Disabled centre in Officer closed down three years ago and Mr Beck and the team are excited to see the new Pakenham centre thrive.

The 25 acre block of land has undergone a transformation after the dedicated team of volunteers poured their heart and souls into making this vision a reality early in 2022, with more information on Riding for the Disabled available here.

Image caption: RDA Pakenham member Sarah Beck with her horse Luke (Credit: VRC)

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