British Dressage launches new ID Championships in partnership with RDA

British Dressage (BD) and RDA have launched the inaugural RDA Intellectual Disability Dressage Championships in association with BD. Set to take place at Solihull Riding Club in the West Midlands on Saturday 1 September, the championships are an important milestone as they mark the first time riders with an Intellectual Disabilty (ID) have competed with the National Governing Body for dressage in the UK, and possibly the first time for any equine sport under the auspices of the International Equestrian Federation.

“This is a huge step forward for riders with an intellectual disability, who have until now had precious few competitive opportunities,” says RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher. “In launching these Championships, BD is not only helping to drive change within equestrian but also within the broader spectrum of disability sport, where opportunities for ID athletes are still limited. We are delighted to have been able to build on our strong partnership with BD to support this initiative, and wish all participating riders the very best of luck.”

Currently, Para Dressage within BD covers only riders with a physical disability and this new invitational championship will be the first time ID riders have been welcomed to affiliated dressage.

Over 60 statemented riders have been invited by BD and the RDA to take part on 1 September after excelling at the RDA regional qualifiers.  Three levels of test will be on offer and the riders will be judged by experienced RDA judges.

Interim Para Director for British Dressage Julie Frizzell commented; “This is huge news for dressage and further widens the horizons the joy of horses, riding and competing reaches.  Full credit must go to the team at the RDA for helping us bring the Championship to fruition as we couldn’t have done it alone.  We share the same values of inclusion and diversity through sport and were determined to provide ID riders with a new aim and pathway to compete.  Para dressage continues to go from strength to strength and I hope ID dressage will now find a place in our community so riders can achieve their competition aims and fulfil dreams.”

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

Your Horse Magazine official media partner

RDA has teamed up with Your Horse Magazine for the 2018 Gala Awards

“We are thrilled to have Your Horse Magazine as the official media partner for the 2018 RDA Gala Awards.  The event is a special evening of celebration for our wonderful participants, volunteers and horses and to have the support of such a well-respected and well-read publication is a real boost, we are looking forward to working with the team in the run up to the dinner in September.”  Says Ed Bracher, Chief Executive, RDA UK.
Guests from the Your Horse Editorial team will be on hand to report on our evening of celebration and to congratulate winners on their outstanding achievements.

 

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

New partnership with SOS Group Ltd

We are really pleased to have agreed a new partnership with SOS Group Ltd who are generously supporting the 2018 RDA National Championships.  SOS are providing all the photocopying equipment, printers, stationery and technical support for the competition.  This is a real boost for the event where the reliability of our equipment and easy access to supplies is important and ensures we provide an efficient service to our participants and volunteers. We are really grateful for the support of SOS who are also able to offer charity rates to RDA Groups for new or used equipment, contact Andrew Skelton at RDA@sosgroup-ltd.co.uk or call 0345 230 8080 to find out more.

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

Apprenticeship role in accounts at RDA National Office

If you know someone who might be interested, please find all the details here: www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/-289371

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

RDA National Championships 13-15 July

The RDA National Championships – the biggest event of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders and carriage drivers – returns this July with nine new classes in equestrian vaulting and the first ever Endurance competition. The three-day event, which also features dressage, showjumping and carriage driving, attracts over 400 qualifying competitors from all over the UK.

From the technically demanding fun of the ‘Countryside Challenge’ to top flight dressage, the Championships is a display of skill, horsemanship and determination from competitors of all ages and abilities.

“In response to its growing popularity with RDA groups around the UK, we have added nine new classes to the Vaulting competition this year,” explains event secretary Sarah Hadley. “Since we first included it at the Championships it has proved a big hit with spectators and competitors alike, and this year the competition will take centre stage in the main arena on Saturday afternoon. Visitors can expect an inspiring and gravity-defying display of gymnastic skill, teamwork and horsemanship!”

Endurance will be making its debut at the event, with an introductory competition of up to 2 km. “We would love endurance to become a permanent fixture on the schedule after this year’s event. Testing the horse/rider partnership in a totally different way from our other activities, it will be great to see how our teams approach the challenge and get the most out of their horses and ponies,” says Sarah.

For classified riders, the Championships is an important fixture in the competition calendar, and with talent spotters on the lookout for the next Sophie Christiansen or Lee Pearson, the pressure will most definitely be on. “We pride ourselves on the friendliness of our event, but don’t underestimate the seriousness of the competition,” says Sarah. “There isn’t a competitor here who isn’t trying to do their very best and go home with a red rosette.”

The RDA National Championships takes place from 13-15 July at Hartpury College, Gloucester. Free entry. Visitors welcome.

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

Building starts at National Training Centre

RDA has broken ground on the building of its first ever National Training Centre. Due to open in spring 2019, the Centre at Lowlands Farm, Shrewley, will be an important focal point for the charity, which provides therapy through horses to disabled children and adults all over the UK.

The new Centre will provide training for hundreds of volunteers, helping to ensure they have the skills they need to support RDA’s 500 riding and carriage driving groups. “After months of planning, it is fantastic to have reached this milestone,” said Project Chair Patrick Riley. “Getting to this point has been a real team effort and we have received so much support from the local community.”

Once open, the Centre will also provide commercial riding lessons and venue hire opportunities, as well as RDA sessions for disabled clients. “We want the Training Centre to become a thriving and busy hub for a wide range of equestrian activities – and a real asset to the local community.”

Solihull-based firm, Greswolde Construction, is carrying out the work, which involves the renovation of existing equestrian facilities on site and the creation of a new building with office space and training rooms. “We are used to building in busy live environments, but they tend to involve humans. Horses are a first for us,” says Greswolde Director, and project leader, Chris Harrison. “We are working very closely with the RDA team on site to ensure everything goes smoothly and that their work isn’t disrupted.”

Despite having started work on site, fundraising continues for the project, which is attracting donations from local businesses and individuals keen to show their support for the life-changing work carried out by RDA. “We have been delighted by the response to our appeal,” said Patrick. “RDA has been changing lives through horses for almost 50 years and donating to this project is a great way to recognise this remarkable achievement.”

To register your interest in the project, to donate money or to offer equipment or expertise, please contact Sal Atkinson at RDA UK on 01926 405975 or email satkinson@rda.org.uk.

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

Volunteer opportunity: Could you help to raise awareness of RDA and its work in West & Central Scotland?

We have two volunteer roles available to help raise awareness of RDA. Please take a moment to read the descriptions below and see if you could give your support.

Regional Publicity Officer

RDA is looking for a volunteer for West & Central Scotland Region to publicise the work of RDA and its member groups to the public through online, print and social media.  The role would suit someone with communications and PR experience who is looking to use their skills for the benefit of others.

Event co-ordinator for the RDA stand at Blair Hose Trials.

RDA has been supported by Blair Horse Trials for many years, and we benefit from a great position at the event, where we sell a range of merchandise, including RDA branded items and RDA Christmas cards.  In addition, we take the opportunity to publicise the work of the RDA and particularly the activities of the groups within West & Central Scotland.

We are looking for a volunteer to be in charge of this project, including liaison with Blair Horse Trials, organising the stock and information displays plus other additional events or occasions.

For more information on either of these exciting and rewarding roles please contact Gillie Drapper, Regional Publicity Officer, West & Central Region Scotland  Mobile: 077481 83239 or email: drapper@kilewnan.org.uk

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

NAIDEX 2018 is nearly here!

We are looking forward to seeing everyone on the RDA stand at NAIDEX 2018, we are pleased to be an official partner for the event taking place 25-26 April at the NEC.  Come and say hello, meet the team and have a go on our mechanical horse!.
Book your FREE tickets today!

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

Appointment of a new Chair for RDA

After three terms of three years Sam Orde will be retiring as Chair of RDA UK at the end of March 2019. Sam has been (and continues to be) an exemplary Chair for the Association and does an incredible amount to further our work. We are extremely grateful to Sam for her hard work and commitment.

The Chair of RDA UK is a vital role combining a number of different requirements in terms of skills and experience as well as being the key leadership figure for the association. Candidates may come from either within or beyond RDA and can be nominated by one of the following:
a) 2 RDA member groups;
b) 2 Regional Chairs;
c) The Board of RDA UK

In order to ensure that we fill this post in a way which is fitting for our development, we have appointed a recruitment consultant – Hanover Fox – to help the current Board nominate its preferred candidate. Therefore we would like any interested person to speak to, and apply via, Hanover Fox. This will enable us to ensure that all applicants are assessed against the same criteria and we can work with Hanover Fox and our panel made up of people representing the constituents of RDA to find the best person for the role and for RDA.

The advert for the role is here below, and as you will see, if you want more information, or to discuss the role, please contact Phil de Glanville at the address shown.

AdvertForNewRDAChair

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

RDA AGM announced

Notice is hereby given that the Fiftieth Annual General Meeting of the Riding for the Disabled Association Incorporating Carriage Driving will be held at The Trades Hall of Glasgow, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow G1 1UH on Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 2.00pm.

The RDA Memorandum & Articles of Association allow Member Groups to submit resolutions for inclusion on the AGM Agenda. Please see clause 8.3 of the Articles of Association. Resolutions must be received by Friday 21st September 2018. Please note that this year we will be electing a new RDA UK Chair at the AGM. 

The Agenda and accompanying papers (including a location map), will be circulated to all Member Groups prior to 14th November.

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018