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Travel & Leisure Week: Horse rider with Cerebral Palsy in world first pony trek to Everest Base Camp

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 Riding for the Disabled Association is supporting one of its riders in his remarkable attempt to reach Everest Base Camp on horseback – a world first. Max Stainton, who has cerebral palsy, will be leaving the electric wheelchair he relies on and swapping to a Nepalese horse for the ascent up to Base Camp with a team of supporters walking alongside. Investment Analyst Max begins his challenge at the start of April, having spent 18 months in preparation, training and tireless fundraising for RDA’s new National Training Centre in Warwickshire.

“With less than 8 weeks to go until we fly off to Nepal, the team here at Riding Everest are at full tilt preparing for what will be an adventure of a lifetime,” said Max. “With all fundraising going to RDA’s new National Training Centre, we hope that this outrageous challenge will inspire some incredible generosity!”

Five RDA volunteers, including his riding Coach for many years, Karen Arnold, will be joining Max on his adventure. Karen is a Coach at Stratford Upon Avon RDA, where Max started having riding lessons aged five. “When I heard about Max’s plan to trek to Everest Basecamp on horseback I immediately thought about being on the team,” said Karen. “Max; a pony and an adventure – how fantastic to be a part of it. The opportunity to support a cause so dear to my heart: to raise awareness and funds for RDA’s National Training Centre, is an added bonus.”

Also joining Max from Stratford RDA will be occupational therapy student Jas Wyatt. Three volunteers from Hyde Park RDA, where Max now rides, will also be part of the team: RDA Coach Anni Mazinke, Giles Newton and Livi Shaw.

Max and his fellow adventurists head off to Kathmandu at the end of March. The ascent should take 12 gruelling days, with Max riding a Nepalese pony and the rest of the team on foot. “We have been training for months, both individually and alongside Max, and although I’m slightly dreading it, it would be just so great to see him do it,” said Karen.

Max’s trek will bring in vital funds for RDA’s National Training Centre, which is due to be completed in time for the charity’s 50th anniversary in 2019. The Centre will the first of its kind and will support volunteers and coaches from around the UK. 

Project Patron and RDA President HRH The Princess Royal said: “As RDA looks forward to the next 50 years, this project to build a National Training Centre will draw on our experience and strength of community to create a vital and inspirational focal point for learning of which we can all be proud.

“RDA has built a world class reputation on the strength of its expertise, coaching and horsemanship. These are strengths that must remain at the heart of everything we do in the coming years. The Centre will ensure we can maintain our high standards and develop our training programmes to ensure the best possible experience for RDA’s riders and carriage drivers long into the future. 

You can support and donate to ‘Riding Everest’ at, or show your support to the team on social media at Facebook ‘Riding Everest’, Twitter @ridingeverest or Instagram: ridingeverest. 


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