‘Riding a horse is the only time when I am free from pain’

EASY RIDER Rayna Matthews
EASY RIDER Rayna Matthews
Sailors from a Portsmouth Royal Navy minehunter crew have rowed 805 miles - to Disneyland Paris and back - in 48 hours to raise money for their shipmates son who has been diagnosed with cancer.

The personnel of Mine Countermeasure Squadron - Crew 2 held a 48 hour rowathon in aid of 9 year old Ethan John, son of Able Seaman (MineWarfare) Craig John.

Kind Portsmouth sailors’ row helps boy battling cancer

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TRADISSAR has become a centre of excellence and that’s something I am very proud of.

We specialise in taking on disabled riders that want to improve their riding and take it to the next level.

We hope that some of our riders will compete at a national level, even internationally at the Paralympics.

Some of our riders are showing some serious talent. We recently hosted a Paralympic talent-spotting day, which was a tremendous success. It was the first to be held in this area.

One of our riders, Tia, is only seven years old. She rides side saddle, like me, and she just loves it.

When I am riding, it’s about the only time that I am free from pain. When you are up there, the motion of the horse is therapeutic.

When I was in my 20s, I was involved in a car accident and then I developed polio, which has left me severely disabled.

It really does mean so much to have something so beautiful to focus on.

I am sure that the horses even know that they have a disabled rider and they take extra care – it’s a special experience.

Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre in Stubbington has been so supportive of our group and they let us use their arena every Monday.

We have people who keep their horses at the stables and they ask us to use their horses. They know that we will take great care of the horse and that the horse enjoys giving our riders joy.

We are a charity and we are all volunteers. We rely on the goodwill of others so everything really makes a difference.

To find out more visit tradissar-rda.co.uk, email billmatthews@ntlworld.com or telephone 0845 241 4355.