A young Co Antrim lady who has successfully combined a professional career with that of wife and mother on a leading Ulster farm has high hopes that the current resurgence of interest in horses and ponies throughout the country can be directed to aid retarded children.
Mrs Noreen Wilson, wife of Mr Robert Wilson, who runs his 100-acre holding at Oldstone, Muckamore, is physiotherapist to Muckamore Hospital and – encouraged by the success of the £60,000 swimming pool recently opened there – she is convinced that the introduction of a few ponies “would give the children a further opportunity to lead as normal a life as possible”.
One of the prime movers in the swimming pool idea, Mrs Wilson told FarmWeek that she was greatly heartened by results achieved when ponies were made available to spastic children at several riding schools in Co Down.
“I have already brooched the subject to our medical superintendent,” Mrs Wilson said, “and I am encouraged by his promise of sympathetic consideration.”
Mrs Wilson’s intense interest in horses began as a child and she vividly recalled “the endless wait” before she was allowed to own her first pony on the completion of her school programme.
“The proud position of the Irish horse will be completely re-established,” she added, “provided we set our sights high, demanding quality right along the line.”
The Wilson stock of horses and ponies continues to develop and the four-year-old daughter of the house is already showing her mother’s flair for skilled horsemanship. Mrs Wilson has been a successful exhibitor and rider at several shows throughout the country.