Gemma Haire on Cloud at the Dublin Horse Show.
Gemma Haire from Kilkenny recently took part in a display ride at the world famous Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, Dublin.
She was part of a display ride presentation by the Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland (RDAI) with six other riders from Waterford, Meath, Mayo and Westmeath.
Gemma started riding with the Waterford RDAI group last year and took part in the RDAI Display Ride at the RDS last year, and was delighted to be back again with her horse, 'Cloud'. Gemma is a natural and has really progressed quickly, especially when you consider that she only started having riding lessons two years ago.
This year, for the first time, she took part in the South Leinster Special Olympics Equestrian event, where she won two gold medals. Gemma says that her love of horses comes from travelling throughout the country supporting her older sister's show jumping.
Speaking after the event, Roisin Henry, National Field Officer for the RDAI said that the display ride really enabled the public to see the dedication and commitment of the riders, their instructors and volunteers of the RDAI.
"Each year, we bring a number of riders to the RDS Horse Show where they have a chance to display the skills they've learned at their meetings," she said.
"It really is special to see how determined our riders are to give 100%. More importantly though is the joy, happiness and confidence that all of the riders gain from this great experience of being at the Dublin Horse Show”.
The RDAI is a national voluntary organisation, which offers the opportunity of therapeutic and recreational Riding or Carriage Driving to any person with a physical or intellectual disability. More than 50 groups nationally provide weekly lessons, free of charge, to almost 700 disabled people. The aim of RDAI is to improve the general health and well-being, and broaden the social horizons of people with special needs in a fun and safe environment, thus empowering them to reach their maximum potential.