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Help is thrilled to announce that equine therapy for people with disability will continue at the McIntyre Centre with the appointment of Racing Hearts Therapy Incorporated as the new trustee at the Pinjarra Hills site. 

Racing Hearts is a registered charity and established equine therapy practice committed to continuing the McIntyre Centre name and the important work of the McIntyre family over the past 60 years.   

Racing Hearts, who currently operate in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Northern Territory, delivers individual therapy sessions and group programs, including equine and art-assisted autism programs, school and school holiday programs, and women’s empowerment groups.  

Racing Hearts will recommence equine therapy at the McIntyre Centre within the next six months. During that time, Help will offer transition support to Racing Hearts for the reopening.  

Help CEO Denver Fresser said “Racing Hearts are best positioned to run the McIntyre Centre. They are a highly regarded organisation with strong financial backing. Their passion for their work is evident and they’re deeply committed to helping as many people and horses as possible.” 

Mr Fresser thanked all interested parties for their patience while the process to transfer the McIntyre Centre was worked through.  

Mr Fresser said Racing Hearts was the best positioned to comply with the McIntyre Centre’s charitable trust obligations following the rigorous assessment of the multiple expressions of interest that had been received.  

“This is a terrific outcome for the community, and we are extremely pleased that vital services for people with disability will resume with Racing Hearts.” 

Racing Hearts founder, Lisa Coffey said “Racing Hearts is delighted to be carrying on the legacy of the McIntyre family and we can’t wait to connect with everyone in the community who is passionate about the centre so we can all work together to make it a huge success. Our mission is to ensure a safe and nurturing space for both humans and horses. We believe in the profound healing potential of equine therapy and are excited to be helping people in Brisbane to experience these therapy programs again.”

About Racing Hearts

Racing Hearts is a registered charity and equine-assisted therapy practice founded in 2018. While providing therapy for humans, Racing Hearts also rehabilitates retired racehorses to act as ‘assistant practitioners’, helping them find new homes and lives after racing.  

Racing Hearts enjoys strong support from the corporate sector, the racing industry and state government racing bodies.   

More information is available at

About the EOI and transfer process 

The EOI process was open to charitable organisations involved in or seeking to provide services to people with disabilities.  

As part of the terms of the charitable trust under which the McIntyre Centre is held, applicants were required to demonstrate their willingness and legal and financial capacity to abide by its terms, namely supporting the programs of the centre, supporting the brand in the community, and developing increased capacity and investment in improved infrastructure and the investment of funds on relevant research. Full details of the selection criteria and supporting documentation required are available to view here

Applications were rated against the selection criteria by both the Help Executive and a Board subcommittee and further verified by external legal advice.   

Racing Hearts met or exceeded the requirements for all selection criteria.   

Help has a non-disclosure agreement with all applicants and will not be disclosing details publicly or comparing details of submissions with other applicants. 

The transfer of trusteeship was completed on 25 March 2024. 

Racing Hearts has committed to resuming services at the McIntyre Centre within six months and will keep the community informed of their plans.

About Help 

Help is a Queensland-based social enterprise with a 50+ year history — offering an integrated network of services empowering people with disability to live fulfilling, independent lives. 

Help operated the McIntyre Centre from 2017 until July 2023 when it announced it was ceasing services, made necessary due to the significant gap between NDIS fees-for-service and operating costs. 

Peter and June McIntyre established the first riding school for people with disabilities in Australia at their home in Kenmore, before opening the centre at its current Pinjarra Hills site in 1973.  

Help has kept the McIntyre family informed of the expression of interest (EOI) and transfer process.

Media enquiries: Lara Thompson | m 0438 801 012 | [email protected]

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