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Community Horse and Pony Scheme romp home at awards

Community Horse and Pony Scheme romp home at awards

Katie Double CHAPS (Community Horse and Pony Scheme) romped home with a coveted award after pipping scores of other innovative support projects to the post.

The project won the Service Innovation award at the Promoting Independence Awards (PIA) hands-down on Friday December 4th. Dark horses they may have been but the Gwalia supported and The Lottery funded CHAPS equine charity gave numerous support projects from across Wales a run for their money.

Project manager Katie Double (pictured with award) said it recognised the hard work that the team put in to improve the welfare of people and horses.

She said, "We have been prominent in urban horse owning community for quite some time, offering support and advice. The owners we work with genuinely want the best for their animals and have an empathetic approach. The owners are keen to learn good practice and embrace the services that CHAPS provide through education and support. This award is as much for the service users as it is for the team at CHAPS.”

CHAPS was developed thanks to lottery funding and aims to improve the welfare and quality of life for both horses and people through a number of equine, rural and agricultural initiatives. Most recently they have been working alongside vets Cotts Equine to educate and support urban horse owners and improve the welfare of tethered equines in communities across Swansea.

Holly Thomas, from Cotts Equine, said evidence suggests that in the short time that the CHAPS have been holding vet days for urban horse communities, horse welfare has improved.

She said: “Even in a relatively short space of time, there have been visible improvements in the welfare of the horses and it is hugely rewarding to see how our advice and treatments have been taken on board and implemented.”

Grant funded CHAPS is supported by a group of dedicated volunteers and relies upon charitable donations to provide food, medicine and equipment needed to help look after the urban horses they have rescued. To thank their supporters they will be opening the stable doors for Christmas.

Katie Double said: “We want to give our supporters a Christmas treat to show our appreciation but we also want people who don’t know what CHAPS do to come and see. We have a number of events planned to introduce our horses and showcase some of the crafts our service users have made.

“I want to wish everyone involved with CHAPS a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

CHAPS will be hosting an equine welfare talk in the New Year.