Urban Cowboys turn to Study
Thursday 14th December saw the official opening of a unique humanitarian and equine welfare project in the heart of a large Dublin housing estate.
The project is situated on a 7 acre area of previously disused land, owned by South Dublin County Council, beside the Fettercairn Community Centre and the Markets.
From its humble beginnings of a few ramshackle stables the project has grown into a large, well run enterprise with funding coming from the Department of Agriculture, South Dublin County Council, and the Urban Iinitative to name but a few.
The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) has been involved with the Project from the outset offering advice and support and funding to the tune of £45,000 over the next 5 years towards the salary of the Stable Training and Education Manager.
Tony Schorman, ILPH Field Officer, who is a member of the Board and Steering Committee, says The completion of this project gives me great personal satisfaction not only because the future welfare and safety of the horses involved in the scheme is now assured, but also because the young people are being educated to a standard that will give them the opportunity for employment in the horse world.
The drive and enthusiasm generated at the Centre has to be seen to be believed. With the official opening barely behind them they are already talking about how they can find sponsorship for the next phase of the project, a covered riding arena.
Editors note: Horses have had a key role in Dublin commercial activities and were traditionally kept on open spaces long before Fettercain Housing Estate was developed. They still hold an important place in the hearts of many inner city and suburban adults and young people. Until 1997 when the Government introduced the Control of Horses Act Dublin was overcrowded with Urban Cowboys, youths and young children riding their ponies bitless and bareback through the urban streets. These unfortunate animals were allowed to wander free, resulting in many accidents both to man and beast. The Act outlawed minors from owning horses and ponies, and all the animals were rounded up by local authorities and impounded.