How We Started


Early days 4The Gauteng Branch of SARDA (South African Riding for the Disabled Association) was founded in 1984 by a voluntary committee. Originally called the Transvaal Branch, it operated out of a number of riding schools around greater Johannesburg. In 1987 Roodepoort Council made a 5 acre plot available to SARDA and, following much work to create a viable Centre out of what was essentially a piece of veld, we moved to our own home in 1989.

In 1994 we underwent another name change and became the Highveld Branch. The operation was staffed entirely by volunteers who ran the yard, took the lessons and did all the fundraising.
Today, following our most recent name change, we are the Gauteng Branch and our Centre has matured into a restful, well treed escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life – a place where the children can experience a change from what is often an indoor oriented life.  SARDA Gauteng is still run by volunteers but they are supported by a small staff of 6.

Our riders and volunteer helpers spend time outside in the sun or under our big trees, commune with nature, and engage in riding lessons or other equine activities. Our plovers have raised many broods in our grass arena and guinea fowl, robins, wagtails and many other little creatures roam around our center, despite the fact that we are situated on what is now a very busy road in an area of enormous development.

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