Letting down hair buys hay

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FEED TIME: Rapunzel of the Mid Canterbury RDA with (from left) Ashburton Cadet Unit acting corporal Lela Butler, warrant officer class 2 William Brett, warrant officer class 2 Brodyn Gabites, RDA assistant coach Heather O’Hara and senior coach Maxine Hooper.
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A palimino mare called Rapunzel is among horses at Mid Canterbury RDA benefitting from Ashburton Cadet Unit members letting down their hair.

RDA senior coach Maxine Hooper said the $500 donated by unit members from their recent fundraising dance would be put to good use purchasing hay. The charitable incorporated society’s horses of Rapunzel and her six friends cost about $2000 a year to feed.

‘‘It was pretty amazing when the cadets contacted us to say they would like to give us their profits from their dance,’’ Maxine said.

‘‘It was wonderful seeing young people in their own way raising money to support other young people in our community, and for them to acknowledge the work we do by making a donation to us.’’

Mid Canterbury RDA offers horse riding and horsemanship lessons and tuition to Mid Cantabrians who may benefit from the service.

Ashburton Cadet Unit commander Cezarne Rodgers said each year the unit chose a local charity as the beneficiary of proceeds from its annual dance.

Rodgers said the first dance was held in 2018, with proceeds that year going to Plunket.

‘‘We had always collected for the Plunket door-to-door, but that year they had stopped doing it and had not started a street appeal or anything to replace it. So to help them out too we decided to run the dance, something we had been talking about doing for a while and to donate the profits to them,’’ Rodgers said.

‘‘We have been building it up and we make anywhere from $400 to $800, depending on numbers attending. The early ones had 30 to 40 people attending, but we have been as high as 60,’’ she said.

‘‘I would like to keep doing it, but we may change how we do it, as it costs a bit to hold. The numbers attending this year were lower and I think that was because money is getting tighter for everyone.’’