Pinetrees Riding Centre in Almancil was host to the British ambassador Kirsty Hayes who recently visited the centre to meet many of the people involved in Riding for the Disabled in the Algarve (AEDA – Associação de Equitação para Deficientes no Algarve).
She was accompanied by consul Simona Demuro, vice consul Clive Jewell and Manuela Romano de Castro, press officer.
The president of Almancil Parish Council, Joaquim Pinto, was present to welcome them together with the director of Almancil Schools, Rui Filipe, and also Adriana Pereira, teacher of special needs education and who has six autistic children benefitting from the AEDA’s sessions.
Many of the volunteers involved in helping with Riding for the Disabled are from a variety of nationalities. Riding for the Disabled Barlavento group was represented by David Hibbert and João Moura from Loulé Riding Club and Existir, plus volunteers from the AEDA, all enjoyed meeting the ambassador who is herself a keen horse lover and rider.
Five youngsters from APPC (the Cerebral Palsy School in Faro) demonstrated their skills on their horses and were presented with some red, white and blue rosettes by the ambassador.
Another rider, 15-year-old Irina Rodrigues, showed her abilities by riding unaccompanied in walk and trot. Irina won the highest number of points in last year’s Special Olympics Championship in Lisbon in the walk trot test and is keen to better her score in the next championship.
A presentation of a framed photo was made by the ambassador to Bill Glindon, a Brit who has served as a regular volunteer for more years than can be remembered, contributing, as many expats do, to enriching the lives of disabled through this valuable form of therapy.
Caption: British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes presenting volunteer Bill Glindon with a framed photo