Sam’s Big Ride in W&C Scotland

Crieff, Wednesday 13 September
The overriding characteristic of the Big Ride in this region was that as many groups as possible joined in when and as they could, so the fundraising challenge included:
Sam Orde riding 5 km at Crieff stables with 3 of the more experienced RDA riders from Strathearn RDA Group known as Rideaway. 2 coaches from that group and volunteers from Rideaway and Gareloch Group joined the beautiful ride up Knock Hill, which started in ‘breich’ weather (a bit of light drizzle) and ended in sunshine. This was just part of the day at Crieff which saw 4 regular RDA sessions in the morning, long service RDA awards being presented to the wonderful Crieff Hydro stables manager Liz and coaches Sarah and Fiona, as well as to 4 ponies. Of course there was lots of chatter and refreshments along the way and quite a number of RDA regional officers there to help everything go smoothly.
Later the event moved to Gleneagles Riding Centre to see the impressive venue for Auchterarder RDA Group. Other representatives of RDA Groups had also gathered there including Brian Cuthbert representing two Carrick RDA groups. Brian and his wife kindly offered to use an art event later in the year to fundraise for the Big Ride project. Gleneagles coach Jane Cepok showed all around the Centre, before long service awards were presented to three Auchterarder volunteers. The day ended with the arrival of two of their young riders straight from school and just in time to give lovely RDA pony Paddy his long service badge.
Jane Isaacs organised a picnic carriage drive for 15 Argyll Group drivers, who were joined by Patsy Muir-Simpson and half a dozen Forth Valley drivers. They ‘had a great day, missed all the rain, drove a decent distance and ate a lot’
Breadalbane & District Group held their own Big Ride for 7 riders earlier in the week to join the fundraising efforts. Group organiser Jennifer Valentine reported that ‘Everyone riders and volunteers had a ball and raised plenty of money’.
What a wonderful Big Ride day with seeing so many RDA members from various groups!

Page Last Updated: September 20, 2017

Job vacancy at The Brae – Physiotherapist

Part-time Physiotherapist, Band 6, required to provide therapeutic riding to clients of all ages and conditions. Minimum of 2 years post graduation experience required. Some experience in therapeutic riding preferred.

Fixed Term contract for 2 years initially.

Hours of Work -16 per week to be agreed

Job description and application form can be obtained from www.brae.org.uk or for more information contact

Closing date 22nd September 5pm

Interviews to be held on Friday 29th September

Mary Sneddon, Centre Manager
Tel : 01382776880
07885851881

Page Last Updated: September 14, 2017

Sam’s Big Ride: Festival of Endurance in Grampian & Highlands

Highlands tracks collage

RDA Scottish Festival of Endurance, Highland RDA Group on Saturday 9 September

It was a great experience for the Big Ride to be part of an RDA Endurance Competition at Highland RDA Group’s wonderful venue overlooking the Moray Firth. We were welcomed by owner Christine Anderson, who was carrying a home baked cake to sustain riders across her yard which stables 100 horses.

10 RDA riders and 6 RDA coaches were soon getting kit ready for the competition: maps, bibs, water bottles, ponies. We were supported throughout the day by crew from Scottish Endurance Riding Club, who were brilliant and I learnt a lot about endurance from them. Farrier and vet checks were completed before we set out on a beautiful route organised by RDA Endurance Committee member, Brenda Burnett. Brenda had a busy day not only running the competition, but also competing herself taking two RDA riders along at a cracking pace.

At their allocated times riders set out in pairs with a coach to ride 15km, 11km or 8km through woodland and along grassy tracks on the beautiful Rosehaugh Estate. We were met at check points by crew who helped refresh the horses with a wash off and drink of sugar beet water. I was able to ride with regional coach Lorna Clark and use these points to change the group of RDA riders we accompanied, so that we got to ride with everyone.

There was a really positive vibe and during the ride and afterwards over cake riders explained why they enjoy RDA endurance so much:
Jill who has also been an RDA trustee for 14 years said: ‘It is all about enablement. I can’t walk without sticks & splints, but I can go out on a horse and enjoy the countryside.’
Mary who had rheumatoid arthritis at 17 said ‘I wouldn’t have had the recovery I had without riding. Why wouldn’t you enjoy riding in the countryside!’
Lisa talked about the ‘sense of freedom’. As well as being an RDA rider Lisa is the group’s volunteer coordinator and a big cheer went up at the prize giving when Lisa was presented with a trophy and certificate for achieving 160 km total for endurance rides. The celebrations did not stop there as a delighted Stuart received his certificate for 200km!

Highlands tracks collage

Page Last Updated: September 12, 2017

Sam’s Big Ride reaches North region

PC & RDA

Tuesday 29 August in Cumbria
In this large region the Big Ride was to be undertaken in two parts. First in Cumbria a beautiful carriage drive and ride with two fantastic ponies: Monty a skewbald driving pony owned by Westmorland RDA whip Jenny Harris and Jack a Clydesdale cross riding pony owned by RDA driver and volunteer Faith Billington. These two are used to working together so there were no problems mixing carriage driving with riding.
Four people, two ponies, one carriage and one bike set off on a 10 km route. It was a bit like musical chairs as we got a turn in at least one saddle/seat! I was in the carriage for half and then riding lovely Jack. Where we could Jack went along off road alternatives before meeting up again with the carriage. This included an old railway line ‘The Hincaster Trail’, going past the Lancaster canal and Kent River and following a magical woodland path with fairy trees and decorations!

Thursday 31 August in Northumberland
After all the work that others are putting into organising Big Rides, it was about time that I helped out. It was a pleasure to welcome Morpeth Hunt Pony Club to a rally at my Ritton Farm and to combine this with a Big Ride. Close ties between pony club and RDA are helped by Michelle Macaulay, who is both District Commissioner and an RDA trustee/treasurer/coach.
Morpeth RDA Group and Newcastle & District Group each brought two riders and ponies as well as plenty of supporters. The morning saw the 4 young RDA riders set off leaving the rally field for a 3km route around the farm, accompanied by Sam, 7 young pony club riders and 14 on foot either leading or side walking. As we topped the hill we could see the North Sea, heather clad hills and views of 30 miles stretching away to the south. This was the first time that the RDA riders had been away from their usual venues to ride out in the countryside, although they were all quite experienced riders.
The two Newcastle RDA riders had recently returned from an RDA holiday week in Yorkshire, where they had learnt to canter and were delighted to pass their bronze RDA riding tests. Their coach Avril Lomas explained how helpful they had found one session on a mechanical horse for improving their canter. Avril has now found one that they can use in Northumberland for when it is raining as this group rides in an outdoor school.
Everyone joined together for a large and jolly pooled picnic lunch, before Sam headed out to add further kilometres to the Big Ride total with 4 Pony Club teenagers. The families at the pony club rally and others too donated funds split between the RDA Groups and RDA’s National Training Centre, in addition to riders getting themselves sponsored. There was mutual agreement that this partnership approach had been successful for all and enjoyable.

Sponsor Sam at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/samorde

PC & RDA

Page Last Updated: September 5, 2017

Applications closing soon for the Young Professional Programme and BEF England Excel Talent Programme

Applications for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Young Professional Programme and England Excel Talent Programme, funded by Sport England, will close on 31 August 2017.

A new and exciting programme for this year, the BEF Young Professional Programme’s aim is to support athletes moving out of the youth development pathway by giving them a transition plan designed to help them engage with the wider equestrian sport network. The 12-month programme is run in collaboration with British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping and will help athletes with their personal development and career planning; instilling them with confidence to thrive in the equine industry.

The BEF England Excel Talent Programme is embedded into the equestrian talent pathway and helps to identify and nurture up-and-coming riders who demonstrate potential to win medals in the future within the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines: dressage, para-dressage, eventing and showjumping. In order to maximise funding and resources and offer a more tailored approach in delivery, this year will see a reduction in the number of athletes being accepted.

For more information on how to apply for the BEF England Excel Talent Programme, click here.

The selection criteria and the application forms for the BEF Young Professional Programme can be found here.

All programme queries from potential applicants should be directed to Georgie Wheeler: georgie.wheeler@bef.co.uk / Tel: 02476 698904

ENDS

For all media enquiries, please contact Richard Waterhouse – richard.waterhouse@bef.co.uk

Page Last Updated: August 25, 2017

Baroness Dido Harding to address charity gala

Conservative peer joins Clare Balding, Alastair Stewart, Anneka Rice and others for celebratory fundraiser in aid of RDA

This year’s RDA Gala Awards will welcome Baroness Dido Harding as after dinner speaker, addressing a host of celebrity guests including Alastair Stewart, Anneka Rice, Sophie Christiansen, Lord Jeffrey Archer and others. The annual awards night, hosted by Clare Balding, celebrates the achievements of the charity’s riders, horses and volunteers.

“RDA is an extraordinary organisation that has always inspired me,” said Baroness Dido. “And it’s a huge honour to be asked to speak at the RDA Gala Awards evening.”

In addition to Baroness Dido’s after dinner speech, actor Peter Egan will present the RDA Horse of the Year, sponsored by Snuggy Hoods; The Volunteer of the Year award, sponsored by Godolphin, will be presented by Anneka Rice, and the Young Volunteer of the Year, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will be presented by Alastair Stewart. The RDA Rider of the Year will be presented by Sophie Christiansen CBE and is once again kindly sponsored by Childs Farm.

“The Gala awards is our biggest night of the year, celebrating the achievements of RDA groups from all over the UK,” says organiser Sal Atkinson. “It’s fun, informative, inspirational – and always a bit emotional! We are so lucky to have the support of Baroness Dido and our other celebrity guests, who give their time to help make it such a special night for everyone. We hope to raise a huge amount on the night so we can do even more to enable disabled children and adults to benefit from our amazing horses and ponies.”

The event takes place at Shakespeare’s Underglobe on London’s South Bank on September 26. Tickets are available from Sal Atkinson at RDA UK satkinson@rda.org.uk.

About Baroness Dido Harding
In August 2014 Dido was offered a Peerage and now sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative Peer. She was appointed to the Economic Affairs Committee of the Lords in July 2017. She is a non-executive director on The Court of The Bank of England and Chair of the Bank’s Remuneration Committee. Dido was Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC from 2010 to May 2017.

Prior to TalkTalk, Dido was Sainsbury’s convenience director, having been appointed to Sainsbury’s operating board in March 2008. Dido joined Sainsbury’s from Tesco PLC where she held a variety of senior roles both in the UK and international businesses. Prior to this, she worked at Kingfisher plc and Thomas Cook Limited where she gained considerable retail experience. She has also served on the boards of The British Land Company PLC and Cheltenham Racecourse.

She is a trustee of Doteveryone and a member of the UK National Holocaust Foundation Board. Dido is married to Conservative politician John Penrose, has 2 children and in what spare time she has left is a jockey and racehorse owner.

Page Last Updated: August 23, 2017

Sam’s Big Ride reaches Northern Ireland

From back of carriage

Northern Ireland Region at Shane Castle on Sunday 20 August
What a beautiful venue for a Big Ride and the sun shone too! There was plenty of room on Shane O’Neill’s wonderful property for riders and carriage drivers to head out in separate directions.
10 riders gathered at the farm steading with Robert Davis kindly bringing Cindy for Sam Orde to ride. Robert and his family host four RDA groups at their fabulous Laurel View Equestrian Centre. We enjoyed a 9 km ride along woodland tracks, passing along the banks of River Maine and Loch Neagh. Along the way it was great to hear from Patricia McClain, RDA coach for Lurgan Group about the successes of their new vaulting sessions and to hear more about their brilliant holiday programme.
The carriage drivers and some walkers gathered at the tea room next to the famous Shane Castle ruins. This was a hive of activity with a good gang of volunteers there to make sure that the day ran smoothly. 5 carriages and 14 carriage drivers from Ballyward RDA Group had come from two hours away and they were efficiently and calmly organised by Joanne Orr, who as well as running an RDA group provides carriages for weddings all over Ireland. The drivers aged from 5 to 70 years old took turns to complete a scenic 5 km drive, which I was told included passing spots where Game of Thrones was filmed. There was a great atmosphere and team work. The evident enjoyment of the carriage drivers was summed up by one young driver with autism:
‘I enjoy carriage driving because it is better than video games. It gets me out in the college holidays. I do it with 2 friends. I prefer doing this to anything else at the moment. I had never met a real horse until a few weeks ago and they are beautiful animals. Practising round cones in the indoor school taught me how to trot like this now. Now I would like to see what it is like to ride a horse and feel it trot when you sit on it. I still want to keep carriage driving as well.’
At the end of the afternoon all gathered for rosettes and certificates and to be thanked for fundraising for RDA’s new National Training Centre. This was the first Big Ride following completion of the purchase of Lowlands Farm, which is a big step towards this exciting project becoming reality!
Many thanks to Julie Frazer and all who helped make this a successful and enjoyable day.

Sponsor Sam at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/samorde

From back of carriage

Big Ride RDA UK events so far 10
RDA riders/vaulters/carriage drivers 78
volunteers & supporters riding/carriage driving 56
volunteers walking 96
Big Ride Total km with ponies 1114 km
Distance by volunteers on foot 265 km
Big Ride events to go 11

 

Page Last Updated: August 21, 2017

Sam’s Big Ride Update: South Wales and South West

Greenmeadows_025

South West Region
Forde Abbey, Somerset on Tuesday 1 August
Exciting to arrive at this beautiful venue for the first carriage driving as part of the Big Ride project. RDA regional chairman Sue Ingleby and others were busy equipping an RDA tent with refreshments. Jenny Pennell carriage driving rep over saw the harnessing of 3 ponies to carriages in pouring rain as we all put on our waterproofs. As soon as the two RDA carriage drivers Linda and Denise arrived the sun appeared and thankfully shone all day. Three carriages with three RDA volunteers supporting on bikes and a car follower set off as a team through the stunning garden past Forde Abbey – what a view!
8 km later Linda, who drives from her wheelchair and whose CV includes having taught RDA riders as an BHSAI at one of RDA’s earliest groups and a stint of stunt riding in New Zealand, explained how much RDA carriage driving means to her: ‘It gives me the freedom to be out in the open and do something positive since my accident and the chance to be back with the ponies I love’. I had the interesting experience of being in a carriage driven by Judi and pulled by a lovely grey Dartmoor pony Demi. Demi has nearly completed his RDA training and it was great to see his pricked ears as he steadily navigated the narrow, high banked lanes and hills.
Lunch was a fun and chatty occasion with RDA supporters and Forde Abbey Carriage Driving Group overlapping with Chard and District RDA Group ready for riding in the afternoon. Two young RDA riders from this group completed 1.5 and 2km each, with many helpers walking alongside in support. William and Chloe were delighted with their rosettes and Big Ride certificates.
The day was capped off by a longer ride of 5km. RDA volunteer Greta kindly brought in two of her lovely hunters for Sam and Greta to ride over the hill and back, to finish off an active day with a very positive group of people.

South Wales

Green Meadow Riding Centre on Friday 4 August
The Big Ride received an enthusiastic welcome from Judith England and her brilliant team at her Green Meadow Riding Centre. This is a pretty special location in Dare Valley Country Park built on a reclaimed slag heap in 1976, with welsh hills on one side and the ex-mining town of Aberdare on the other.
A large group of people gathered to put on a special Big Ride day with a welsh twist. RDA riders, volunteers and ponies came from Green Meadow, Bridgend and Mount Pleasant Groups and all three regional chairmen were there to help. There was a real community effort on fundraising and RDA riders proudly produced their sponsorship forms at the start of the day. Our pre ride photos starred a welsh lady in traditional costume, welsh mascot toy pony and a big cheque for £1,500 raised by this event! With a bit of shepherding from Judith and regional coach Mike Butcher (who fundraised £350 with a fancy dress and raffle) we were ready. There was a tremendous team spirit as 10 RDA riders helped by 21 volunteers on foot and a dozen volunteers on horses set off together!
The RDA riders completed a 2km ride through the country park, before returning to rosettes, lunch, face painting and fun! The longer ride of a good 25km saw us climb to 446m for tremendous views across the welsh hills. This beautiful ride was virtually all off road. We rode through woodland with lunch provided under beech trees, where we sheltered from a brief shower. The wonderful ponies were sure footed up and down steep tracks and clearly enjoyed the ride including a couple of good spins. The end of the ride took us along an old coal railway line between ex miners’ houses. It was a chatty four hour ride and my favourite overheard question ‘Do you have a chicken called Darcy’……the answer yes and we all learnt quite a bit about hens!
This day gave a real boost to the Big Ride cumulative totals and it looks like we need to revise our 1000 km target upwards!

Sponsor Sam at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/samorde

Greenmeadows_025

Big Ride RDA UK events so far 9
RDA riders/vaulters/carriage drivers 64
volunteers & supporters riding/carriage driving 46
volunteers walking 88
Big Ride Total km with ponies 837 km
Distance by volunteers on foot 231 km
Big Ride events to go 12
Page Last Updated: August 18, 2017

Job vacancies at Beechley Stables

ALLERTON, LIVERPOOL.
As one of the leading providers of riding for disabled for children & adults on Merseyside, Beechley Stables are seeking to appoint suitably qualified and experienced staff for the vacancies below. These key positions will steer the riding centre in a move from their current location to an impressive state of the art premises, within a mile of its existing site – at such point the Centre Manager will then be able to live on site, but in the interim will need to find their own accommodation.

CENTRE MANAGER F/T Circa £22,000
Tasked with being responsible for all operational aspects in the running of the stables, the Centre Manager will lead & train the staff team and volunteers; sustaining, maintaining and developing initiatives so as to ensure that the provision for our client group is not merely optimised, but operates to the utmost service standards. The post holder should ideally be a qualified BHSAI & RDAGC, who is well capable of all aspects of Horse Care by virtue of a minimum BHS Stage 2 / National Diploma.

GROOM INSTRUCTOR F/T Circa £17500
Alongside a fellow staff member and reporting to the Centre Manager, you will be responsible for the care and maintenance of all our horses and ensuring that the yard presentation is of best measure. With the ability to deliver high standard lessons to our service users, you will have suitable qualifications and experience including BHS Stage 2 Horse Care and an RDA Coaching Qualification enabling you to work unsupervised.

For consideration, please submit your current CV outlining your experience and qualifications to : beechleyrecruitme@gmail.com Please note candidates not receiving a reply within 10 working days, may assume their application has been unsuccessful, and in which case the Charity Trustees thank you in advance for your kind consideration.
PLEASE NOTE THESE APPOINTMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO ENHANCED DBS CHECKS

Page Last Updated: August 7, 2017

Mrs Broon’s Championships

So what’s it really like at the RDA National Championships? It’s time for the annual review from our very own Mrs Broon:

Just Sniff it up! Mrs Broon’s Nationals 2017

Third year at Nationals!! How amazing is that? Actually managing to get to Nationals three years in a row.

This year was different as we were a bit more organised but there was the usual flurry of activity starting the minute we qualified.
First there was the “How we’re gonny get there” organisers sorting out transport and travelling for horse and people.
Of course there was the “Who’s all goin” group sortin all that out. There’s was a wee bit easier as the horse and rider had to be on the list then somebody to look after the horse.
Then there was the “Who’s doin what when” organisation. How many nights to book for people and stables and last minute changes and adaptations to travel arrangements, horse transportation etc.
The most important of all was the How are we gonny pay for it” group, also know as “BegginLettersRus”
Most of the roles overlapped and we dragged in outsiders to do wee bits of it but somehow it all came together.

Then packing. In, out, change it all about and repeat! No more to be said in that subject except to discuss among yourselves how many pairs of knickers really are required for a 2 night stay away from home.

All the arrangements made and packing done, we set off. I had luxury transport travelling with SuperKate (Kate Bennet West and Central Scotland Regional Chair) who’s great company. Evelyn Lapsley ( Chair of Equi-Power trustees board) who owns Basil (the horse I was riding) and was the groom for the weekend, traveled with Borders RDA and Berwickshire Vaulters sharing vehicles. Coach Helen Kallow was collected from visiting her in-laws and left her hubby and three children there to come and help.

Once we arrived the support and camaraderie was amazing as usual. An RDA Volunteer (Jamie) took fantastic care of us and we spent the whole weekend with friends old and new. My turn to ride was Sunday morning. All went well and we did well, 4th place in a class of 14 with only 3.24% between 1st place marks and me.

That’s not just what it’s all about though, it’s about the fun and laughter that goes with it. Emma Wells was going around on her scooter on Sunday taking videos of people and asking what about RDA we liked the most. My friends gave me a challenge (which I accepted) to tell her that what I love most about RDA is the slogan and then show her how attached I am to it. I accepted that challenge and somewhere she has video of me doing exactly that showing her the slogan tattooed on my backside.

What sums up the weekend for me though, is having a wee wobble just before going into the arena. I had the sudden urge to blow my nose and couldn’t find the hanky in my pocket. Helen (coach) said “Just sniff it up and go and do it! You’ll be fine” So I sniffed it up, went and did it and it WAS fine! That’s what it’s all about!

Page Last Updated: July 21, 2017