Our belief that ‘horses make the difference’ underpins all that we do.
It is a testament to the entire Cavalier Centre community of volunteers, staff, trustees, participants and supporters that the Centre continues to grow and develop, despite a few difficult years. Our ambition is to improve even more lives through activities based around our incredible team of horses and ponies, increase our work with volunteers, partners and supporters to benefit the community and become a centre of excellence for wellbeing and equestrianism to be enjoyed by all.
In the April of this year HRH The Princess Royal visited the new build Cavalier Centre to open it in front of a large number of supporters and sponsors. This was a terrific occasion which had been a long time coming and had been eagerly awaited by so many people. We were blessed with a fine day and a wonderful “cast” of humans and horses filled the bill with interesting and appealing presentations. Eagerly we looked forward to the first 12 months of operating. These were sadly cut short by the onset of Covid 19 and its restrictions and these continued to stop us from properly functioning until April 2021
Despite the effects of the pandemic the Centre has continued to develop its offer and to reach new people thanks to our determined volunteers, staff and ceaseless fundraising
When the group started in 1995 we always knew that as it progressed it would eventually outgrow this original site. After many years of trying to find a new location, abortive exploration of possible sites, the Willey Estate from Broseley contacted us with an offer not to be refused. We were offered the site at Bradeley Farm outside Much Wenlock on much better terms than any of the previous offers had been, we were also offered the back up of the tremendous energies and support of Catherine Lady Forester and her daughter Selina Graham. Without these two ladies, none of what has been achieved would have been possible.
Following the requisite site searches a planning application was lodged in the spring of 2014. Due to various complications it actually took until the winter of the same year before planning was granted and we could crack on with the major job of raising the £1.4 million that was to be needed for the build.
Perry Riding for the Disabled Group started at the home of Jane Barker in North Shropshire due to a need highlighted by severely disabled young people from Severndale Special School in Shrewsbury who were unable to access RDA sessions anywhere else in the county.
Two ponies and four helpers initially helped with the sessions, gradually increasing over the years as demand and donations increased. Carriage driving was begun with an 11 year old riding horse being sent away to add to his education and the money was raised to buy the harness and the carriage for him on his return after 8 weeks intensive training. Vaulting was begun with a group of ADHD autistic young people from Cruckton Hall School and great results were achieved with behaviour modification and general improvement in social interaction.