Keysoe International

NEWS

10th July 2023

DYLAN’S STORY

A young cancer survivor has qualified for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) National Championships at Grade 6 Canter – taking place at this weekend at Hartpury Equine Events Centre.

 

Dylan is 8 years old and was diagnosed with bone cancer last year. Dylan shows tremendous courage, strength and resilience every day as he battles against the disease – having undertaken almost a year of draining chemotherapy treatments. The cancer has left him with lifelong disabilities effecting his left side.

We first met Dylan last September when he came along to our Keysoe Cuddle Therapy Centre to meet the Keysoe Ponies.

And we’ve been good friends ever since!

As a life-long fan, horses have always held a special place in Dylan’s heart. Even through the pain and treatments, Dylan has continued to push through to ride his horse Inki – most recently competing in the RDA Regionals.

Seeing how determined Dylan was to do well, we asked his mum Jessica how we could help…

 

From there we got in touch with Natalie Banks from Peak Performance Horses and set up some private sessions for Dylan at Keysoe International to help perfect Dylan’s already great technique in preparation for his RDA qualifiers.

Then, as a surprise before his last round, we arranged a special treat… a meet-up with none other than 14-time Paralympic medal winner Sir Lee Pearson.

Dylan’s mum said:
“It was just so beautiful! When we arrived Dylan got to meet Sir Lee Pearson and even got to wear one of his Tokyo gold medals. I can’t thank everyone involved for making it so, so special for Dylan – absolutely amazing”

Lee said:
“Dylan’s bravery and commitment inspires me to try harder and enjoy every day.”

 

Taking all he had learned from his lessons, Dylan entered the regional qualifiers and managed to win his class with 77.05%!

 

Sarah Stoute, CEO of Keysoe International added:

“Due to how impressed we were with Dylan’s determination and his obvious love and care for his pony Inki we were more than happy to invest in Dylan, to make sure he is as prepared as he could be for the RDA National Championships.

“Good luck Dylan!”

 

The RDA National Championships are taking place in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, this Friday-Sunday, 14th-16th July.

RDA is an inclusive and diverse charity, supporting people with physical and learning disabilities of all ages. Through their network of member groups, RDA is at work in every corner of the UK, bringing the rewarding therapeutic fun of horses to as many people as they can. Through exciting activities like riding and carriage driving, therapy, fitness training, skill development and achievement opportunities– all supported by 13,000 amazing volunteers and qualified coaches across nearly 500 RDA centres in the UK.