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Special pony rides for 14 Down kids

IPOH: It was four-year-old Afina Azra Norazlan Shah’s first brush with a pony and she immediately fell in love with the animal.
Afina Azra is one of 14 children with Down Syndrome who were feted to a fun-filled day at the Perak Turf Club’s (PTC) Equestrian and Training Centre here.
Afina Azra kept patting the animals and had a broad smile when she rode on one.
Despite being her first time, she was not afraid at all, and kept asking her mother, Megawati Din, to take her for another ride.
The children from the Ipoh Down Syndrome Centre were accompanied by their parents and family members.
The Equestrian Centre, with an individual J. Ratna who sponsored the programme, hosted the event.
Present was Ratna’s father Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam, who is the PTC chairman.
Brunch was also served to the children, with the club’s committee members chipping in to pay for the food.
For 10-year-old Chuah Wen Hooi, this was also her first time riding a pony.
“I like the white pony with black spots, and I also want to go for another ride.
“This is so fun, I am not tired and I am enjoying myself,” she said.
V. Suryaa, 12, said this was also his first time touching a horse.
“I enjoyed both the carriage and pony rides, it was so much fun, and before that I got to touch the horses at the stable,” he added.
Ratna said horse-riding is known to be a good therapy to promote physical and mental health for special children.
“So I thought why not let the children experience this atmosphere,” she added.
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