HORSE-mad Hannah Hunter is preparing to strut her stuff in a top beauty contest.

But as well as impressing judges on the catwalk, the 20-year-old from Gwernaffield is hoping to boost charity coffers.

The part-time model will represent Flintshire in the Miss Galaxy Wales competition later this month and is using her new-found status to support a cause close to her heart.

Hannah, a second-year equine therapy student at Bishop Burton College in Hull, is raising awareness about The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

The RDA helps more than 23,000 people with a range of disabilities to receive therapeutic benefits from horse riding.

Hannah told the Leader: “Horses have always have always been a large part of my life.

“The RDA is a fantastic organisation that some people with disabilities do not even know exists.

“One person who could not walk went for some sessions and found that she could walk again after only a couple of sessions.

“It’s all to do with the movement of the horse. I am making plans myself to become more involved and volunteer in the summer after my degree exams.”

Hannah has high aspirations after her studies and hopes to open her own rehabilitation centre for ex-race horses.

She said: “The injuries which come from racing are sometimes too much to deal with so horses are sent for slaughter.

“But I am hoping to set up a centre to rescue and rehabilitate racehorses and give them to a good home with families who will look after them how they deserve.”

The former Mold Alun pupil is preparing for the beauty contest with rigorous gym sessions with her boyfriend – Hull rugby player Will Robinson.

If successful in the Welsh final, she could be crowned Miss Galaxy UK and win an all-expenses paid trip to the USA to compete in the world famous Miss Galaxy International Pageant.

Hannah is also supported by parents Kay and Adrian, sisters Carly, 28, and Rebecca, 26, and brother Harry, 18.

She added: “I feel like winning Miss Galaxy UK would give me a platform to raise awareness for the RDA and encourage more people to volunteer to help this
fantastic organisation.”

The Miss Galaxy Wales final is on February 21 at De Vere Daresbury Park Hotel in Cheshire.

Tickets are £25 and each can be purchased by calling 01925 767505.

l There are eight Riding for the Disabled Association groups nearby - Dyffryn Ceiriog, Greenfield, Hope Mountain, Montgomery and Oswestry, St Asaph, Vale of Clwyd, Wrexham and the Clwyd Special Riding Trust.

See for more details.