Local businesses supporting Carlisle Riding for the Disabled Association

15th Jul 2015

Carlisle Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating following the coming together of local businesses to fund the upkeep of its brand new horse Smartie Pants V.

The association, which was established in 1973 and has been run entirely by volunteers ever since, enlisted the help of Cumbrian branding company Ast Signs to raise money towards Smartie’s maintenance and the response from businesses has far surpassed its hopes.

To date 16 businesses have purchased sponsorship boards that are now proudly displayed in the arena of the RDA’s home at Blackdyke Farm, raising well over £9,000 to help Smartie to provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities in the local area.

The businesses include Ast Signs itself, Elite Dream Bedding, Arragon’s Cycle Centre, Beech House Holidays, James Pittam, Sculpt PT, Atkinson Building Contractors, Cumbrian Homes, Andalusian, Saint & Co, Cannon Hire, David Hayton, Miller Waite, Stobart Group, The Halston and Aztec Soft Play.

Their support will help mean that Smartie can help Carlisle RDA continue to provide riding lessons to more than 50 people with disabilities each year. There are currently 40 unpaid volunteers at Carlisle RDA, who together provide the opportunity for disabled riders of all ages to learn to ride and for some to compete in dressage, showjumping and countryside challenge.

Catherine Smith, Group Coach & Secretary for Carlisle RDA said:
“We are thrilled to have received such a significant contribution towards Smartie’s upkeep and particularly touched that so many local businesses have come together to support us. Without our brilliant volunteers and businesses such as these we wouldn’t be able to achieve half of what we do and their help means an awful lot to us.”

Mark Aston, Managing Director of Ast Signs said:
“We are really pleased to be a main sponsor of Carlisle RDA, they do such good work, it’s an honour to be associated with them.”

Carlisle RDA runs riding lessons every Thursday and on two Tuesdays each month. To find out more, please call 07920 453051 or email

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