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Shropshire riding centre attracts more than £2,500 in donations after closure

By Deborah Hardiman | Oswestry | Business | Published:

A Shropshire riding business that has temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak has attracted more than £2,500 in online donations towards animal upkeep.

Penycoed Horse Riding Centre volunteer Robert Brida, 26, at a Riding for the Disabled event in 2019

Penycoed Horse Riding Centre owns the 23 horses and ponies which would normally be available for visitors to the site near Oswestry. It does not look after animals for customers in exchange for a fee.

Due to the outbreak the enterprise, in Blackbridge Lane, Pant, which caters for schools and disabled riders, has lost all its income and five staff have been put on furlough or leave as a result.

Proprietor George Hanson, 30, said: "It's a difficult time as we had to close the centre, but as we don't provide a livery service all of our income to provide for our horses and ponies has come to a halt.

"We still have to feed and exercise them, cover vets' and dentist bills. The staff have been put on furlough.

"We recently purchased an American barn as an investment, so we haven't got any money left. When we're open we are very busy normally. We get disabled riders, two private schools and the colleges coming in to use the use the facilities.

"We have applied to Shropshire Council for a business support grant and hopefully we'll get it because we have many ongoing costs. The money we've raised so far from the online page will be a big help.

"We have enough hay until the end of the month. In June we'll stock up on the winter feed and that costs about £5,500."

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The centre which has been operated by the family since 1971 is managed by Mr Hanson and his brother James. While his mother Pam operates holiday cabins at the same site.

The fundraising campaign has soi far raised £2,580 for the horses. Anyone wishing to donate to cover costs of feeding, bedding and general care should visit website www.gofundme.com/f/help-penycoed-horses?

Mr Hanson said all the proceeds will go to the horses and ponies upkeep during the closure period.

Many riders have taken the centre's Facebook site to admire posted images of their favourite equine friends.

Shelley Bennett posted: "Nice to see they're relaxing."

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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