Thieves strike Benalla's Riding Develops Abilities, making it two burglaries in two months.By Monique Freer
A heartfelt thank-you from Riding Develops Abilities to the Benalla community has turned into a plea for help after another rug was stolen from the not-for-profit organisation.
RDA Benalla president Carolyn Hood contacted the Ensign last week to express her gratitude for the community’s support following a burglary in late June.
But only days after speaking with the Ensign, RDA Benalla was struck by thieves again and another rug was stolen off the back of a newly-donated horse.
‘‘It’s is so sad and frustrating that these people that are doing it have no idea what they are doing and costing our association,’’ Ms Hood wrote on the association’s Facebook page.
‘‘The community has been great rallying to help us out financially. So they are not just stealing a rug, they are stealing from our community.
‘‘We do not receive any government funding and the amount of hours I donate and care I take of the horses with our association, I take it personally when things are stolen.
‘‘Help us find these people that are doing this and see them suffer the shame of what they have done.’’
The Four Mile Rd property was robbed in June, when three horse rugs, a head stall, a lead rope and lucerne hay were stolen. However, a call to the arms from the local organisation saw the Benalla community step up to help.
‘‘We are really grateful and we’d like to thank everyone,’’ Ms Hood said. ‘‘We only rely on community support, there’s no government funding for us, so without their support we don’t exist.’’
Ms Hood said she was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the community and local veterinarians, who also helped save the life of RDA chestnut gelding Tim by funding a major dental operation.
‘‘Even though it was just a simple tooth, he would have had to be put down if we didn’t have those donations to save him, because he couldn’t eat properly,’’ Ms Hood said.
After overcoming an infection post-surgery, Tim is now being utilised again.
‘‘He’s gone from an unhappy horse to a very happy horse.’’
Benalla RDA is run by volunteers and enables primary school children with a variety of disabilities and backgrounds to develop independence, a sense of freedom and to reach their equestrian goals.
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