Anne Brown’s Championships: Mrs Broon Rides Again….

Last year 2015, I managed, despite the odds, to compete at Hartpury riding an amazing wee 13h 2” cob called Ozzy. I was 11th but I was there!

The journey to get there took from 2009, when I had my first RDA lesson, till then via Bannockburn RDA closing, no horse, no coach, finding Ozzy, Helen Kallow (coach) stepping in to help, qualifying and a fundraising campaign to get me there.

This year was a whole different thing. Firstly Equi-Power Central Scotland RDA have a horse! Jaffa is massive and WIDE! I found out just how wide the day after my first lesson on him. I was like the wishbone that had been pulled. There were bits of me stretched that I didn’t even know I had but gradually we got to know each other and I managed to qualify at West and Central Scotland Regional Qualifiers on 7th June.

Right at the start I knew I wouldn’t be going to Hartpury as Jaffa is Equi-Powers only horse at the moment and lessons on him are oversubscribed. I knew I couldn’t take Ozzy as I’d shared him with Forth Carriage drivers last year and they weren’t going. My coach couldn’t go as her brother had been really inconsiderate and decided to get married that weekend, I mean, really??? Of all the times to pick, Nationals weekend?

It was ok though, I’d been and achieved my ambition but there was a wee sadness as I have Secondary Progressive MS and know that my walking distance is decreasing and I’d have loved to have gone.

Then came the call….WonderKate (Kate Bennet Regional Chair) phoned and asked if I’d like to join their team from Gareloch as Helen Hill had qualified and would love to go. I could share Bobbie with her. Wow, well wait a minute till I think about th…..YES, YES, very much YES!!!!!!

Right there is one of the things I love about RDA, the way individual RDA’s can work together to their mutual advantage.

Somehow I managed to fit in the 3hour round trip to Gareloch four times to get to know Bobbie, fit in a weeks holiday with the grandweans and fundraise with Equi-Power’s help to be able to go.

We were off……. I was living the dream again.

The weekend was amazing. People speak to your face, not your crutches or wheels. Able bodied people seemed to be in the minority which is weird but very comfortable. I was never once asked “Are you alright there?” by someone speaking as if I was a toddler, their pitying head tilted to the side as they rubbed my arm. If I’d fallen on my backside (not uncommon) I’d have been picked up brushed off and sent on my way. No Ambulance called, no accident book produced, no circle of onlookers mumbling about “drinking at this time of day!” I love it.

Anyway how did we do? Well Bobbie or Crossfire (his Sunday name) was a bit overawed by the whole thing. This was all new and scary and he was very vocal in telling us that. We hoped he would settle better for me as he was a bit freaked out with Helen although she came home with a 6th place rosette. She did great on an overawed horse. I had no expectations of any success and just hoped to get him round. I had a mini-meltdown in the morning as my box where I keep all my fears and insecurities opened up wide, but SuperKate gave me her duct tape which she has for emergencies and I was sent to my room to tape the box firmly shut! I’ve kept a piece of it in my purse for future crises when SuperKate won’t be there. When we got in to the arena Crossfire was vocal and distracted by scary things like the photographer with a great big scary camera. I don’t know how, but we managed to get round reasonably well and I was 7th which I’m delighted with. Even if I had been last though, the weekend was worth attending for the massive emotional hug you get. A hug of acceptance and support.

What of Bobbie? If he goes next year he’ll be an old hand and will settle so much easier as he’s seen it all before. Right now he’ll be remembering his success as Crossfire at Nationals and how he managed to do well even though he was worried. He’ll stand a bit taller and prouder knowing he CAN do it and that’s what counts.

Me? My abiding memories will be of SuperKate’s duct tape and how we left the ring to a massive cheer from the audience led by Garioch Carriage drivers, then the voice of Angie Murray shouting “Well done Mrs Broon!” Both SuperKate and I had a wee “moment” as we exited. You can’t beat that! Roll on next year.


Page Last Updated: July 29, 2016