Horse machine develops skills of young riders

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Young and disabled riders are improving their skills in the saddle of their club’s new mechanical horse.

The machine, affectionately called Jet, has been installed at The Mount Group Riding for the Disabled charity headquarters at Somerby.

It was provided thanks to a Samworth Brothers Sports Opportunity Fund award of £11,150.

Our picture shows member Joseph Platt, who is using the facilities for rehabilitation after a serious injury, having a ride on the new mechanised horse.

Also pictured are Tim Barker (left), a Samworth Brothers Sports Opportunity Fund trustee, with Mount Group trustee Pat Bishop and children from Knossington Grange and Oakham CE Primary Schools.

Pat Bishop, of The Mount Group, said: “Our riders love riding on real ponies but this equipment also helps to improve their technique in a safe environment. 

“Another great benefit is that Jet doesn’t get tired like a real horse and more of our young people can use it for longer periods of time.”

The Mount Group was formed in 1986 by enthusiastic parents to provide an opportunity for riding to the pupils from the Mount Special Needs School in Melton. It started with 12 volunteers and six borrowed ponies and is now one of the most active groups in the county, with 50 riders visiting each week from schools and day centres in the Melton area.

The Samworth Brothers Sports Opportunity Fund was launched by Samworth Brothers in 2013 to support deserving community sports projects close to the company’s sites in Leicestershire and elsewhere in the UK.

The aim of the Fund is to help local sporting projects, in particular those that give disadvantaged young people better confidence and life skills.

During last year, the fund awarded £136,663 in grants to clubs and other charitable organisations.

Any group or organisation interested in applying for a grant from it should go online at