A NINE-year-old rider at Haworth Riding for the Disabled group has been named Rider of the Year at RDA's annual awards night at Gibson Hall, in London.

Charlotte Seth was handed her award by broadcaster and author Clare Balding who hosted the event which also featured appearances from journalist and newscaster Alastair Stewart, Paralympian Natasha Baker and celebrity auctioneer Philip Serrell.

Charlotte has Joberts Syndrome. This leaves her with balance and coordination problems, poor motor skills and proprioception issues.

She started riding with RDA when she was four. At the time, she needed a team of three volunteers around her as poor core strength meant that she was unable to sit upright on the pony.

“Riding is therapy without Charlotte realising the therapy is actually happening,” said Haworth group coach Jane Lawrence.

Through Charlotte’s determination, her RDA group has witnessed amazing progress in all areas of Charlotte’s development. Her core strength has improved to the extent that she now, with support, walks up the mounting block steps, supports herself on the pony and sits upright. She smiles throughout her whole lesson, even when she finds a session tiring.

“She is so much more in control of where she wants to go and what she wants to do,” added Ms Jane. “I’m so proud of her – I think she’s amazing.”

When asked what she wants to do when she grows up Charlotte replied: “I want to be able to do anything. I want to tell everyone they can do anything.”