The Gunnedah Riding for the Disabled Association building at the Gunnedah Showground features a sign hanging on the outside of the building, bearing witness to the organisation’s establishment in 1986.

It was just one year later that Marj Hill joined the organisation and in 1993, her husband Bruce also became involved.

The organisation enables people living with disabilities to be involved in equestrian activities and aims to give a sense of accomplishment.

As life members of the RDA and the Gunnedah and District Pony Club, whose volunteering efforts are ingrained in the history of both clubs, it seemed only fitting for a shed at the showground used by both organisations to be renamed in honour of the couple.

Marj played the role as treasurer of the RDA for many years while in 1994, Bruce became the ‘whip’, also known as the carriage driver. The volunteers are required to be trained in the position.

He also become instrumental in building one of the three person carriages the organisation uses.

Marj recalled the heart he put into creating the carriage.

“He started it with another fellow (Tom Waldron), but he died and [Bruce] had to finish the lot himself. I was the painter,” she said.

“He loved the carriage when he built it.”

Bruce became further involved in 2001 when he took on the president’s position.

The late Bruce Hill.

“We loved doing it,” Marj reminisced.

Bruce was more of the horse enthusiast between the pair, but that passion inevitably rubbed off onto their children.

“We just automatically enjoyed it because our two boys were interested in horses, not so much now, but they did back in those days. They were pony clubbers,” she said.

“I was never the ‘horsey’ person. I was around the kitchen and all other things,” she said.

“[Bruce] was born and bred with horses.

“He went to school on a horse and all that sort of thing.”

The shed naming has been in the works since last year and Marj had one statement to say about it.

“A big thank you, what more could I say?” she asked.

“A big thank you for what [the volunteers] have put their troubles to and work to. It is just beautiful what they have done.

“I made a lot of friends and there was always an outing and everything.

“I know my husband enjoyed it and I enjoyed it.

“He loved horses and he just loved [volunteering].”

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