A life-changing Power for 50 years


Retired pacer Rusty Rockets was a star attraction when HorsePower Australia celebrated 50 years of community service this week.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Rusty and rider Eryn Wilson performed a display of the dressage style which won them ribbons in a recent dressage competition.

Eryn’s coach JoAli Wheeler said Rusty was very good at energy conservation, so Eryn could occasionally be seen compensating by putting extra energy into asking him to perform the moves.

His quiet and relaxed nature, however, make him ideal for his role at HorsePower, previously known as Riding for the Disabled Australia.

Guest speaker Matthew Hughes MLA, representing Disability Services Minister Don Punch, congratulated the volunteer group at their milestone event and said it was important for the government, the corporate sector and individuals to work together in building inclusive and accessible communities.

Matthew Hughes MLA, HorsePower Australia President Willie Warnock, Eryn Wilson and Rusty Rockets, Coach JoAli Wheeler and Vee Wilson

“Initiatives like HorsePower Australia are an important part of the fabric of the community in the way they can bring people together, make connections and contribute positively in the lives of those in need of extra support,” he said.

“Equal opportunity and a welcoming culture are central to ensuring that people with disability have the resources they deserve to lead life on their own terms.

“I have nothing but admiration for the pioneers of this initiative, their idea to create a riding program for people with disability on their private properties has evolved into what we benefit from today.

“Today we can count 19 Riding for the Disabled Association of Western Australia affiliated riding centres around the state.

“Western Australia is richer for the contributions and diversity that people with disability bring to our community.

“We are more connected, creative, innovative and resilient.”

Related: Community fund to engage retired racehorses

Rusty Rockets joined the Peel branch thanks the partnership between HorsePower and Racing and Wagering Western Australia.

Suitable horses are selected through the Off the Track WA program and specially trained for work with people who have physical, intellectual, emotional and social challenges.

Main image: Eryn Wilson and Rusty Rockets