Lifestyle

Valley Therapeutic will have to move

Eli Adadow and Marta Mulholland, who run the Ancient Earth School of Natural Building, stand in front of the school’s office, a load bearing straw  bale yurt. - Breeana Laughlin
Eli Adadow and Marta Mulholland, who run the Ancient Earth School of Natural Building, stand in front of the school’s office, a load bearing straw bale yurt.
— image credit: Breeana Laughlin

The Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) has lost its case in the B.C. Court of Appeal, and will have to move.

VTEA board president Royal Mathews said the BC Lions Society hasn’t given the equestrian centre the exact date when it has to be off the 43-acre property on 232 Street, just a short distance south of Highway 1.

“We refuse to give up but we have to move,” he said.

The BC Lions Society owns the property and would like to sell it. The VTEA first bought the land in 1989, but several years later sought financial assistance from the BC Lions Society because of a funding crunch. At that time, the title was turned over to the Lions Society, which has continued to assist the riding association over the years.

VTEA fought the Lions over the title to the property in Supreme Court and lost. The VTEA then appealed the decision.

“We have put out a request to Valley Therapeutic to co-operate and help us find other services for the kids,” said BC Lions Society president Stephen Miller. “It is our intention to sell the property.”

Miller said the Lions don’t have a timeline yet of when VTEA will have to move.

“Our first priority is to find other therapeutic riding services for the kids and we hope Valley Therapeutic will work with us on that,” said Miller.

But Mathews said it is the intention of the board to continue offering its services at a different location.

“We have 43 acres now, we don’t need that much. Ten acres with a stable or barn and [covered] riding arena is what we need. We have 20 horses right now,” he said. “We are hoping someone will help us or have a location we could use,” Mathews said.

The other therapeutic riding centre in Langley is Pacific Riding for the Disabled in Campbell Valley Park. It has a large waiting list.

In total, about 160 clients come to Valley Therapeutic Riding Centre which provides one-on-one therapeutic horseback riding lessons to some of the most severely disabled children and adults in the Lower Mainland.

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