McIntyre Family Legacy Continues as Racing Hearts Takes Over Brisbane Riding Centre

Photo credit: Racing Hearts/Facebook

After a period of uncertainty, the McIntyre Centre Riding for the Disabled in Pinjarra Hills will be reopening, under its new trustee, Racing Hearts Therapy, a registered charity specialising in equine therapy.

Read: Community Mobilises to Help Revive Beloved McIntyre Centre in Pinjarra Hills

The McIntyre Centre, founded in 1973 in Kenmore by local couple Peter and June McIntyre, was forced to shut its doors in May 2022 due to rising costs and funding gaps. The closure was a major blow for the community that relied on the centre’s therapeutic horse riding programs.

However, there is now renewed hope as HELP Enterprises has announced that Racing Hearts Therapy Incorporated, a registered charity specialising in equine therapy, will take over operations and reopen the centre in Pinjarra Hills.

“Peter and June McIntrye established the first ever riding school for people with disabilities in Australia and we are incredibly proud to be gifted the opportunity to continue their legacy and make their beautiful centre thrive,” Racing Hearts announced.

Photo credit: Racing Hearts/Facebook

Racing Hearts, which currently runs programs in Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, is committed to continuing the McIntyre name and legacy built over the past 60 years. Their offerings include individual therapy sessions, autism programs, school holiday camps and women’s empowerment groups – all utilising the healing power of horses.

“This is a terrific outcome for the community, and we are extremely pleased that vital services for people with disability will resume with Racing Hearts,” said HELP CEO Denver Fresser.

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“Racing Hearts are best positioned to run the McIntyre Centre. They are a highly regarded organisation with strong financial backing,” he added.

HELP operated the McIntyre Centre from 2017 until its services ceased in July 2023, when the financial gap between its operating costs and fees-for-service from the NDIS made it not viable to continue.

Photo credit: Racing Hearts/Facebook

Lisa Coffey, founder of Racing Hearts, expressed excitement about carrying on the McIntyre family’s vision. 

“Racing Hearts is delighted to be carrying on the legacy of the McIntyre family and we can’t wait to connect with everyone in the community who is passionate about the centre so we can all work together to make it a huge success,” she stated. “Our mission is to ensure a safe and nurturing space for both humans and horses.”

The Pinjarra Hills reopening will undoubtedly be celebrated by the thousands of lives transformed by the McIntyre Center’s programs over the decades. A cherished community asset has been saved.

Racing Hearts met or exceeded the requirements for all selection criteria as the new trustee of the centre. They have made a commitment to resume services within the next six months. Updates will be provided to the community at large.

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Published 4-April-2024