Embracing equine inclusivity

Katy Driver with Glenngallan Celtic Sapphire, owned by Clare Grown and Peter Lowry of Glengallan Heavy Horses from Allora. Pictures: CHRIS MUNRO

By Lucy Waldron

The Allora Show embraces inclusivity with the inclusion of a disability horse event in its lineup. Spearheaded by Marilyn Stokes, a stalwart supporter of Disability Services in the Lockyer Valley and a sponsor of the event, the initiative aims to make the Allora Show a beacon of accessibility and inclusivity for all.

The vision for inclusivity took shape about two to three years ago when Allora Show Society Vice President, Carol introduced the idea of incorporating equestrians with disabilities into the Allora Show program.

Her passion for creating a welcoming environment for all participants has been instrumental in bringing the disability horse event to fruition.

“When I came across the equestrians with disabilities, I thought it was a really good program that could create our show to be inclusive of all people,“ Carol said.

Last year marked the inaugural year of the disability horse event at the Allora Show, drawing a positive response from participants and spectators alike. Encouraged by the success of the event, The Show is gearing up for an even larger turnout this year.

“People are speaking about it, and I think we’re gonna have a much better turnout,“ Carol said.

The commitment to inclusivity extends beyond mere participation numbers. Organisers are actively working to ensure that the event is accessible and accommodating to all participants, regardless of their abilities.

“Just because someone has a disability or they have to lead my horse with a wheelchair should not stop them from being able to compete with their horse,“ Carol said.

“Everyone has the right to love their horse and want to compete.“

The Splendacrest Equestrians with Disability Ring event epitomises the Allora Show’s dedication to fostering a supportive and encouraging environment for all equestrian enthusiasts.

Whether participants are seasoned riders or newcomers, young or old, able-bodied or differently abled, the Allora Show welcomes everyone with open arms.

As preparations for the event gather momentum, conversations among organisers indicate plans for a larger and more inclusive event space to accommodate the growing interest in the disability horse event.

The Allora Show’s embrace of inclusivity serves as a testament to its unwavering dedication to celebrating the joy of horsemanship and camaraderie among all members of the community. With the disability horse event taking centre stage on Friday, the Allora Show stands as a shining example of accessibility and inclusion in the equestrian world.