Special Olympics’ Northern NSW equestrian program will be based at Nulkaba’s Byalee Stables.
The program is for people with an intellectual disability from ages eight to 80.
It caters to riders of varying experience levels – from beginners to those who aim to compete at Special Olympics’ state, national and international competitions.
The first training session was held on March 12, with another on Easter Monday.
Riders from the Hunter and Central Coast, and as far away as Sydney, Taree, Mudgee and Dubbo are taking part.
Special Olympics NSW Northern Equestrian Program coordinator Marilyn Caruana said the program provides opportunities for riders to progress in the sport.
“If they want to go on further, Special Olympics can take them on,” she said.
Byalee Stables owner and equestrian coach Ann-Maree Lourey said learning to ride helps athletes with a disability to gain confidence and self-discipline.
“It gives them a massive sense of achievement,” she said.
Some of the riders are preparing to enter the Special Olympics NSW State Games at Camden in June.
From there, a NSW team will be selected to compete at the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Adelaide in April 2018.
The next training day will be held at Byalee Stables on Sunday, May 7.
Anyone wanting more information about the program can call Marilyn on 0414 341 749, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit SO NSW Northern Equestrian Program on Facebook.