AN OXFORDSHIRE charity that was on the brink of collapse during the Covid-19 crisis has finally reopened.

Abingdon RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) in Southmoor celebrated phased reopening with the launch of a special book called 'Pony Tales' which celebrates the group's history.

The charity, which provides therapy through horse riding to local disabled people, suffered huge income losses during lockdown as all fundraising events were cancelled.

To continue to raise money, volunteer coaches Angy Irvin and Amanda Graham produced a book of memories spanning across its 45-year history.

Editor Ms Irvin said: "The book includes contributions from riders, volunteers and coaches, and gives a real glimpse into how we make life better for so many people.

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"The stories range from heart-warming to tear-jerking and back again."

Even when not operating at full capacity, running costs for the group remain at almost £100,000 per year, including food, vet services and farrier bills for 14 horses, and ongoing maintenance of the purpose-built Southmoor facility.

Group chairman Ann Barlow commented: "So many different people get so much out of what we offer as an RDA group, and it is hard knowing that we are some way off welcoming all our participants back.

"We have a tough winter ahead of us with so much remaining disrupted, but for the sake of those we support we just have to keep going."

Pony Tales’ is available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.