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Ellie Simmonds hands out riders' awards

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds attended a horse riding event, presenting youngsters with rosettes and prizes.

The swimming star from Aldridge visited Gartmoor Riding School in Hammerwich at the weekend.

Ellie also officially opened the school's new seating area where children can gather for tutorials and watch other riders.

The event on Saturday was funded by Staffordshire County Council as part of its Aiming High activities for disabled children and their families.

Up to 70 youngsters attended and took part in horse riding, lectures and grooming. They were also given the chance to try out a riding simulator. Children with a range of disabilities went, including those in wheelchairs and those with cerebral palsy and autism.

Ellie, aged 18, said: "It's so wonderful here. I wanted to be a horse rider when I was younger, so this has been really great.

"The scheme here is fantastic – enabling disabled people to learn how to do all these different things is really great.

"The facilities here are amazing. I'm just enjoying being in this environment. It's such a great charity initiative."

Schools that attended include Green Park School in Wolverhampton, Longdon Hall School in Lichfield, Streetly Academy in Walsall, Saxon Hill School in Lichfield and Hednesford Valley High School in Cannock.

Owner of the riding school Tracy Francis says the day was intended to encourage more young people to take part in sport and volunteering.

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