WALKING her horse Aussie down to the arena on competition days is a fond memory Holly Hebron Weir holds of the historic Greenacre Riding School in Wellard.
The popular school was established by the late Vic Ferreira, who built it up with the help of his family over a 30-year period.
A few months ago, Ms Weir re-visited the school – closed for a decade now – and was shocked by what she found.
Abandoned, trashed by vandals and used as an illegal dumping ground for builders’ rubble and car tyres, she said it was an overwhelming sight.
The shock helped strike up a fierce determination within her to secure the property and restore the 1970s riding school to its former glory.
Ms Weir secured a lease with the intention of it turning it into a community asset, but quickly realised she couldn’t undertake the massive task alone and would need help.
“I imagine Vic would be turning in his grave at the sight of it now,” she said.
“I don’t have the words to describe it now really – there are old photos and invoices with Vic’s signature just strewn all about the smashed buildings.”
“So many grew up learning all about horses and forming forever friendships here.
“I want to bring it back to its original state and for it to have a purpose again.”
She wants it be used by teenagers with behavioural issues or defence personnel with PTSD by using therapy horses.
She would also like to share it with other horse and pony clubs.
“There were Olympians who rode here – several members went on to ride in the Olympics,” she said,
Mayor Carol Adams said the City of Kwinana was willing to meet with Ms Weir to offer support.
“We value the City’s heritage and believe in the importance of protecting and preserving, where it is safe and practicable to do so, our much-loved community assets for future generations,” she said.
“We would be more than happy to meet with the lessee of the property to determine how we may be best be able to assist in this instance.
“In regards to the illegally dumped materials, if it’s on private property it becomes the owner/occupier’s responsibility to remove it.”
Vic Ferreira was forced to close in 2008 due to a spiralling public liability insurance crisis that saw his premiums rise 350 per cent one year and higher again the next.
He passed away that same year.
Holly has started a Go Fund Me page.