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SSIT grant helps former equestrian retake the reins

Margaret Toye was an accomplished equestrian before a riding accident left her paralysed three years ago. She didn’t think she would ever work with horses again but a visit to the local Riding for the Disabled centre led her to try out carriage driving. Last weekend, thanks to a grant from SSIT, Margaret was able to take part in her first competition and came home with the coveted red rosette and trophy, having won the Novice whip class at the Somerset area British Driving Society Annual show held at Taunton Racecourse.

The funding from SSIT has helped provide a special carriage, which allows Margaret to ‘drive’ from her wheelchair. With a ramp at the back, Margaret is able to easily get into the carriage, and take the reins. The aim is to progress to a carriage with a back stepper and ultimately to compete with able-bodied individuals.

Commenting on the recent competition, Margaret Toye said:

“It was a wonderful feeling to be able to compete at Taunton Racecourse. The setting was perfect, the pony loved the feel of the grass under her feet and the carriage was easy to manoeuvre. I wouldn’t have been there had I not received the grant from SSIT – it really has helped me enormously.”