A Meirionnydd based horse riding charity will mark its 50th anniversary this weekend.

The Meirionnydd Special Riding Group is a charity run entirely by volunteers which offers horse riding, care and horse therapy to those with additional needs in the Meirionnydd area.

The group is planning an open day to celebrate its anniversary, which will be held this Saturday, 8 July, at their current riding address, Bwlch Gwyn Trekking Centre in the village of Arthog.

The riding group was founded in 1973 by Joan Veevers, a member of the Dolgellau Red Cross Group. The group started in Llanbedr, before moving to a new location in Tyn Darn, Dolgellau where they spent over 30 years riding around the area, sometimes tackling the 1000ft mountains surrounding Cader Idris.

In 1998, the group became a designated charity, and changed its name to the Meirionnydd Special Riding Group and in 2011 the group was awarded Disability Sport Wales status.

Today, the group rent horses and facilities for each riding session, which take place in a purpose built outdoor school. When the weather is too wet, they offer lessons in stable management. The group’s three instructors, who are qualified by the Disabled Association, offer weekly sessions to around 30 participants. They are aided by a team of helpers who are ‘the backbone

A spokesperson for the group said: “We are so very lucky to have had the support of our local community for the past 50 years, we would not be able to offer our sessions without their generosity and so we would just like to say thank you. We hope we can involve the local community in our celebration of this milestone.”