CARD Early Years -1960’s and on….

CARD was formally founded in 1969 by Dr. R.E. Renaud, (an orthopedic surgeon) from the Toronto Western Hospital and Joseph Bauer, a horseman!

Mr Bauer credited his own recovery from a stroke and witnessed first hand the benefits a horse can bring. He began training volunteers!

On the strength of Dr. Renaud and Mr. Bauer’s success with patients, Dr. R.H.M. Fielden, an orthopedic surgeon was enlisted along with Mr. H.F Nitchke a manufacturer of artificial limbs, all of whom helped form a founding committee that would be soon become CARD.
(Dr. Fielden left)

The CARD program began in a small stable on John Street in Thornhill, Ont. using a few horses and a small group of devoted individuals. 1969 brought formal recognition as a therapeutic riding program and the Community Association for Riding for the Disabled was established.

Responding to an increasing demand for services Mayor Mel Lastman advocating on CARD’s behalf secured a new home in G. Ross Lord Park for a permanent facility.

With support of the Variety Club and a Wintario Grant, a new facility was built.

The opening was officiated by HRH Princess Anne on November 16th 1979!

The 1980’s brought a children’s gymkhana, The Mini Royal horse show and CARD demos at many events. CARD restructures its program to incorporate the medical teaching model of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) and begins classes in Hippotherapy, Psycho-education, Rehabilitation and Adapted Sport. CanTRA, The Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association is also formed.

CARD was formally honoured and chosen by the Ontario Government to be the recipient of a horse in the name of Her Majesty The Queen Mother. A 4 yr old Quarter horse gelding was presented to CARD on July 6, 1981. He was renamed “Trillium”.

In 1991, 3 0ut of 5 CARD riders were selected for the Canadian Equestrian Team for Riders with Disabilities. The Team competes in Denmark earning a bronze medal. CARD accreditation is renewed as a premiere therapeutic riding centre in North America. CARD’s program is restructured to ensure all riders are assessed and placed in appropriate classes. Instructors are encouraged to certify with CanTRA and/or NARHA.