EQUESTRIAN sports will be an option for more people on the Isle of Wight thanks to a Para Rider hoist developed by an Island company.

The hoist, developed by Dolphin Mobility, will allow wheelchair bound adults to take up horse riding and equestrian sports at the Island Riding Centre.

The new hoist was first used by Steven Benson from Wootton, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

For his 31st birthday he was able to get on horseback for the first time since he was a child.

Steven Benson's mum, Carol, said "Many years ago when Steven was a lot smaller he used to absolutely love horse riding.

"Unfortunately due to his size it became impossible to lift him up on to a horse.

"This opportunity now enables him to get back in the saddle and enjoy an activity he loves.

"It will also enable others like Steven to take full advantage of this facility, which is fantastic."

Owner of Island Riding Centre, Louise Buckner, said: "The opening of our hoist by Steven, and to see him ride, made us all very proud.

"We all work very hard in making the Island Riding Centre accessible and open to all.

"We are an Riding for the Disabled Association accessibility mark centre which allows us not only to welcome disabled people to ride in the knowledge that we are an approved centre but we have the autonomy to raise money ourselves and spend it through our Wight Horse charity."