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Beechley Stables in Allerton is having an Afternoon Tea with Ponies on Thursday May 26, meaning you can enjoy the usual fresh baked treats and get to meet Beechley’s popular residents too.
The stables, which is a Riding for the Disabled centre near Calderstones Park, held its first afternoon tea when Covid restrictions were still in place.
Staff created fenced pods to be able to keep visitors socially distanced from each other, but still in contact with the ponies. It proved to be so popular that they’re bringing it back and now they’re hoping to welcome even more supporters to a special meet and greet.
“We don’t usually have on-site catering, so for the first event we brought in a local caterer called The Country Kitchen in Garston Old Road,” says Beechley trustee Jean Halligan. “That worked so well that they’ll be coming back by popular demand for this next one.”
Jean says the afternoon tea, which is one of a series of community events the stables has lined up for spring/summer, is an opportunity for people to see the work they do, meet the ponies – and for the ponies to have some fun as well.
“We’re going to be setting up tables in a sectioned off part of the arena floor area and on the balcony so people can have their afternoon tea while the ponies play in their free space without their saddles on. Then at the end we’ll put their head collars and reins on so we can bring them to each table and people will get to meet them and pat them if they want to.
“We have six ponies, all with their own very different personalities, so they enjoy the attention but people don’t always get to see them. Beechley stables sits on the edge of Calderstones Park and we have a field known as the orchard where people can walk along a pathway and look at them, but they’re out at different times every day depending on what classes we have on so they’re not always there.
“This is a chance for everyone to get up close to them and for the ponies to have a day of rest and a day of fun.”
The Afternoon Tea with Ponies will help raise funds for the stables which relies on donations from members of the public and grants to keep running its riding sessions for children and adults with disabilities.
Beechley will also be holding a Coffee & Cake morning on Wednesday June 15 from 10am to 11am and it’s planning a similar afternoon tea event specifically for people with dementia or Parkinson’s Disease.
Jean says it won’t just be visitors who’ll be in for a treat if they come along to the afternoon tea.
“We’ll make sure we have lots of carrots and other things the ponies love so people can feed them once they’ve had their own tea.
“The ponies do try and sniff people’s pockets all the time to see if they’ve got anything nice to eat, it’s just animal instinct, but our tables will be behind white pole fencing so although people can still clearly see the ponies when they’re playing, the ponies know they’re not allowed to go any further. They know the boundaries so they won’t be stealing anyone’s scones!”
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