Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is holding its first ever Virtual National Championships, presented by Oliver Wight EMEA LLP, enabling over 300 disabled competitors to take part from all over the UK. Broadcast online on 25 and 26 September, and with live commentary from Horse & Country TV’s Jenny Rudall, the virtual competition marks a new chapter in the event’s 25 year history.
In response to the challenges of last year’s lockdown, and with many of the charity’s groups focussing their efforts on recovery, the online entry has allowed the national event to take place without the costs and concerns of travel. It has also opened up the event to riders and carriage drivers who have not been able to take part before.
“Being able to film their competition entry on a familiar pony in a familiar arena – without the pressure of travel or attending a large event – has meant that many of our riders and drivers have been able to take part for the first time,” says National Championships Lead Anne Coney. “I have been heartened by the level of enthusiasm shown across the organisation for being able to hold the event in this way.”
The packed two-day programme will feature 54 classes in Dressage, Carriage Driving, Showjumping, Endurance, Showing, Musical Ride & Drive and Vaulting as well as RDA favourites, the Countryside Challenge, Arts & Crafts and Horsecare & Knowledge competitions. View the full event programme here.
The event will be hosted live on RDA’s Facebook and You Tube Channels (both @RDAnational) and will feature live commentary from Horse & Country TV’s Jenny Rudall.
“We are delighted to welcome Jenny as commentator for the event,” says Anne. “Having filmed and presented at our face-to-face Championships in previous years, she truly understands the importance of this event to our riders and drivers, and the commitment of our volunteers and coaches in supporting so many people to take part.”
The Presenting Partner for The RDA Virtual National Championships is Oliver Wight EAME LLP. The organisers are also grateful to the following for their support as Championships Partners: the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Childs Farm (Vaulting and Musical Ride & Drive), The Trefoil Guild (Countryside Challenge), Hartpury University and College (Showjumping), Godolphin (Dressage), JM Finn (Endurance) and LifeWithArt (Arts & Crafts).