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(Photos by Rebekah Morgan)


Here are the first photos of the new Park Lane Stables in Teddington following the £1 million upgrade.

They show the stables for nine horses as well as the stable which opens upon the road to accommodate the famous ‘cuddle horse’ which provided such comfort for children during the pandemic.

The exterior walls on Park Lane carry 1500 names on individual bricks of those who contributed to the fund-raising and the stables themselves carry the name of other significant supporters.

Founder Natalie O’Rourke hosted a preview ‘opening night’ of the stables tonight (monday) which gave local MP| Munira Wilson the opportunity to see the new stables for the first time.

She said: “This looks amazing and is a real tribute to your massive efforts as well as the local community, which has been so supportive.”

Natalie personally led a campaign to save the stables with a crowdfunding launch which attracted support from all over the world as well as  attracting massive media coverage.

Despite the preview of  the stables tonight, founder Natalie faces further challenges to secure the necessary licenses to operate as well as permissions to allow the horses to use nearby Bushy Park which could delay the full return to Park Lane until early September.

She said: “We would LOVE to be able to pack up our saddlebags and come home to Teddington immediately, but our return needs to be staged and gradual.

“We need to offer unbroken services to our participants, and our temporary Petersham facilities mean that we can do this as we prepare the Teddington site for our return.

“New licences need to be applied for now that the building is finished, and until we have these, and agreements with the Royal Parks and Richmond Council we can’t resume activities out of Teddington.

“Our ponies will take time to adjust to their new surroundings. Although some, like Prodney and Trigger, have spent far more of their lives in Teddington than in Petersham, others have joined the team while we’ve been away.

“We’ll need to introduce them gradually. A residential street after a yard on the edge of Ham Commons will initially be intimidating.

“As herd animals, horses look to other ponies high in the herd pecking order for reassurance that all is OK.

“What this means is that the first horses you can expect to see will be old hooves like Prodney and Trigger, with others visiting to get the measure of their new surroundings and take their lead from their more experienced herd-mates.

“Many of our regular participants will take time to adjust, too, and we don’t want to risk their progress slipping backwards because they find the changes too sudden and overwhelming.

“Park Lane Stables has grown so much since we hit the headlines back in February 2021! We’re now much higher profile as an RDA centre, which means we welcome many more participants than we did back then.

“And with new therapy rooms and more accessible facilities now in Teddington, we’ll be able to offer our participants and their carers a more comfortable environment than ever before.”










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