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Sam, Equine of the Year with Lewis at Park Lane Stables.



A carriage-driving horse from Teddington’s Park Lane Stables has been named Equine of the Year in the prestigious RDA’s Annual Award Winners which celebrate the ‘passion, dedication and commitment’ of individuals who have made a significant impact on the community.

The horse, called Sam, joined the Park Lane-based stables, when carriage driving was first introduced and has competed in the National Championships and the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Announcing the award, the RDA said: “Sam gives freedom to so many participants, as for many, carriage driving is the only activity they can do. Sam is so patient and reliable; the Group never have to worry when they are loading the wheelchair user onto the carriage as they know he will wait until everyone is ready.

“He is kind and giving, he knows his job and carries it out with pride. Being a horse in London is not an easy task and Sam’s job really is the trickiest of all and being the only horse in the Group who can help, Park Lane are forever grateful to him and reliant on him.

“Sam gives wheelchair users the opportunity to participate, alongside their peers, gaining all the sensory benefits and experiencing the freedom of horses.

“As a Group we are absolutely delighted that Sam has been recognised with this award. All RDA horses are incredible so for Sam to be recognised is just fantastic. Sam gives so much to so many and for a carriage horse to win this is just brilliant, we love him so much and for so many people to hear about his magic is phenomenal.”

Park Lane Stables founder Natalie O’Rourke, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sam has been recognised in this way.  Sam makes a huge difference to so many people giving them the freedom to experience the joy of carriage driving from their wheelchair.

“It is really special that the judges have chosen Sam as he is a carriage horse and the sort of horse that could easily be over looked.  Sam does not go out winning medals and rosettes but creating smiles and winning hearts.”

The Stables hope to return to their traditional home in Teddington later this year after basing themselves at a temporary home at Manor Farm, Ham while significant work was carried out to upgrade the Park Lane HQ.

The award ceremony will take place in July.


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