MRT News

In pictures: our 30th Anniversary Year

What a difference a year makes!  We would like to thank everyone who has been part of our celebrations, our Riders, friends and families, our volunteer team, our supporters and our sponsors.  You have contributed in so many ways, and we are thankful for each and everyone one of you.

The theme for our 30th birthday year has been all about raising funds for, and awareness of, our work to enable us to deliver projects which will set us up for the next 30 years!  Let’s take a look back at some highlights from a truly fantastic celebratory year.

The past 12 months have gone by at a gallop since we launched our 30th anniversary celebrations back in September 2018 with a special Raceday at Musselburgh Race Course.

In 2019 we’ve provided over 3,500 life-changing therapeutic riding sessions, free of charge, thanks to our volunteer team giving over 16,000 hours of volunteering!  We’ve had so much fun!

We had to say bon voyage to Therapy Pony Tess who is now enjoying retirement, and a sad farewell to Hijarrandi this year.

But we are delighted to have welcomed Lillie, Willis, Callie and Highland pony Kara. MacGregor was especially taken with Kara…

The Rotary Club of North Berwick  are wonderful supporters of the charity, especially marshalling at our events, and honoured us with beneficiary charity status at their sellout annual Classic Car Tour in April 2019.

We are also lucky enough to have the support of many local Rotary groups, not least The Rotary Club of Longniddry and District who this year generously funded the printing of our brand new Volunteer Handbook.

Shout out to all our fantastic pony sponsors and to our Sharers who not only support us in the financial upkeep of our Ponies but, importantly, help us keep our precious Therapy Ponies’ lives enriched.

Our supporters help us in so many ways – Riders’ filling their Coin Boxes, Agnes’ wonderful baking at our Coffee Mornings, Brenda’s beautiful knitting and crafting, June’s gardening skills, Joyce’s wonderful pony photography and Jim’s stunning photos capturing our work, our brilliant event organisers – and so much more.

We welcomed American Master Classical Guitarist Alex Komodore who gave a beautiful Concert at Dirleton Kirk back in May.

Our annual Summer Show for Horses and Ponies back in July was our biggest ever, and our Coaches supported some of our Riders to take part too. Thank you to Lucy from MacGregor Healthcare Ltd our Show’s main sponsor and a great supporter of the charity, and to all our wonderful sponsors and volunteer Judges.  We couldn’t do it without you.

In September, our fantastic Edinburgh Kiltwalk Team which included volunteers, riders and supporters, raised a phenomenal £8,535 – wow, now that’s teamwork!

Later that month we had our very memorable Riders’ Fun Day celebration with families friends and supporters.

There was lots more fun to come in October; we loved having the young student band led by Knox Academy music teacher Liz Woodsend entertaining us all at our Indoor Market!

And we had a swell time at our Blingo By The Sea  fundraiser making lots of new friends!

And speaking of new friends, we made even more at this year’s annual Charity Golf Day at Muirfield Golf Course!  We were delighted to have been chosen as their beneficiary charity.  With very grateful thanks to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, our sponsors – Beatitude, Bravo Whisky Golf, Henry Jewellers of North Berwick and NB Gin – and our Golf Pro Alasdair Good, our guests had a ball!  We even had a Hole In One!  Well done to our deserving winners, Renaissance Braves!  A phenomenal £24,000 was raised.

One of our young volunteers, North Berwick High School student Mairi and her team won a £3,000 grant for Muirfield Riding Therapy!

Our annual Christmas Coffee Morning moved to a new venue, Gullane Village Hall!

And we also had a big birthday party!  ‘The Three Chairs’ – our founder Gill Morrison, longstanding former Chair Susan Law MBE and current Chair Michelle Sutton – led the fun at our 30th Birthday Party at Aberlady Village Hall, showing a wonderful presentation of the past 30 years of MRT and cutting our magnificent cake donated by volunteer Wendy!

Look who came to visit the kids at our annual Children’s Christmas Party at The Mallard Hotel, Gullane this year!

We are very grateful to Longniddry Parish Church for hosting their lovely Carol Service for us, and to Heidi Innes and Holly Carter for choosing us as their beneficiary charity for their ‘Songs for Christmas’ concert at Tyninghame Village Hall.

And so we come to the end of 2019.  We raise a festive toast to everyone who has been involved in making Muirfield Riding Therapy what it is today, thank you.

And we also look forward to the next 30 years… we have lots of exciting plans coming up, starting in 2020 by celebrating 10 years of our pioneering partnership with the NHS, thanks to our Group physiotherapist Heather Falconer.

Merry Christmas everyone, see you in the New Year!