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Horses from southeastern Turkey to help children with disabilities

Horses from southeastern Turkey to help children with disabilitiesThe hippotherapy center designed to offer equine-assisted therapy for young locals living near the Şanlıurfa Hippodrome was established as part of a social responsibility project being conducted by the Jockey Club of Turkey (TJK). The facility is designed to aid in the rehabilitation of children with mental and physical disabilities. Located on 1,000 square meters (10,700 square feet) of land near the hippodrome, the center also offers playgrounds and green areas for the children and their families to enjoy.
Hippodrome Director Mehmet Kazoğlu spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) and noted that the Şanlıurfa Hippodrome was founded in 1996 and started serving horse breeders with official horse races in 2000.
While discussing the hippotherapy center's services coordinated by the TJK's project, Kazoğlu said, "We are trying to show people that hippodromes are not just for racing horses. According our agreement with the Provincial Directorate of National Education, all disabled children of school age in Şanlıurfa have the right to use the hippotherapy center. Contact with horses has proven highly effective in the rehabilitation of the people with disabilities."
Stressing that there are too few hippotherapy centers in the region, Kazoğlu added, "Our center is 1,000 square feet. We also have playgrounds for disabled children and relaxing areas for their families as well as social facilities. By doing this, our goal was to show everyone that hippodromes can be used for so much more than horse races. All these services are free. Up until now, hippotherapy centers were only located in Istanbul, İzmir, Bursa and Diyarbakır. Şanlıurfa is also one of Turkey's leading horse breeding centers. The center here is a much larger than the others. The therapy will be conducted with four ponies. Here, the children's development will be tracked, and their exercise schedules will be planned based on their progress."