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Kids saddling up for TV fame.

Youngsters on Tyneside will feature in a new reality TV series for children from next month.

The Stables, a ten-part series to be screened on CBBC, follows a group of eight- to 12-year-old Geordies and was filmed last summer.

Stepney Bank Stables, in Newcastle, which is managed by Susan Tron, is charity-run and all the children who go there have to run it and look after the 16 horses.

Each of the episodes will follow the lives and antics of The Funky Fools Horse Riding Club and the animals. Viewers will see the group of colourful characters as they take their horses to the beach, compete in their first-ever horse show, meet a horse whisperer and hold their own Shetland Grand National.

Characters will include Jack, known as the loud lazy and bossy one, Rachel who is the brain box of the group, top-rider Georgi, and James, who is always getting teased by the girls for having stretchy ears.

Viewers will also get to know Gem, a beautiful chestnut pony who's afraid of plastic bags, Spangle, a cute tubby, little ginger pony and Rosie and Appleby the naughty but loveable Shetland ponies.

Since opening in 1992 Stepney Bank has offered horse riding lessons and training to more than 300 disadvantaged inner city kids and young people with disabilities.

In July the Stables became one of the first charities to be awarded a Queen's Golden Jubilee Award for its voluntary work.

It also has a new pounds 814,000 indoor arena.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2004
Words:250
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