Stawell’s Margi Taylor has been around horses for her whole life.
At just 15 months of age she sat on her first thoroughbred and now at 78 she is still surrounded by horses, volunteering at the Stawell Pony Club’s Riding for the Disabled Association.
Ms Taylor joined the club as a foundation member in 1988 and brought a small pony Peppy.
She became a level one coach in 1993 and then became a head coach in 2005 where she mentored other coaches.
Ms Taylor’s efforts and ongoing commitment towards the club were acknowledged with a volunteer service award on Friday.
Ripon MP Louise Staley presented Ms Taylor with the prestigious accolade in front of a large gathering at the Stawell Pony Club.
Comments of praise from Ms Taylor’s fellow volunteers printed on the award said she always worked tirelessly and quietly for the club.
“For the first 20 years Margi drove 30 kilometres to have have weekly sessions. Her service involved early starts, liaising with families, organising rosters and helped out with catering and fundraising activities.
“She is first at our sessions and the last to leave and often seen on the grounds doing maintenance. She is warm, passionate and always there for the children and volunteers.”
Ms Taylor said she was thrilled with the special recognition.
“This is just amazing,” she said.
“I have loved working with horses, children and all my fellow volunteers.
In all her 29 years of service Ms Taylor said she experienced many thrills, but she recalled one particular memory.
“I coached a child who could never speak and one day we were riding towards a drum and I gave him the option of telling me if he wanted the elephant or the horse on the drum,” she said.
“He said elephant – we asked his mother to come over and she heard him speak for the first time.
“After that we couldn’t shut him up, but that was probably the biggest thrill that reduced everyone to tears.”