New report into post-lockdown activity levels

Following the survey to groups about activity levels and the factors affecting the continued closure of groups post-lockdown, the following report has been produced. Please feel free to download it for your own interest. This will be publicly launched on Friday 6 November.

With thanks to all the groups who took part in this research.

RDA Activity Levels Report

Page Last Updated: October 28, 2020

Weekly News 15 October

COVID announcements

The First Minister’s announcements on Wednesday 7 October in Scotland does not change our existing guidance to groups.

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday 12 October we are reassured that RDA activities in England can continue in the same way in all 3 tiers, medium, high and very high.  All tiers permit organised outdoor sporting and physical activity, which covers RDA activities, this includes activities in so-called ‘indoor’ arenas. Even though travel should be kept to a minimum we are also reassured that travel for charitable purposes and to access our services is permitted in medium and high risk alert levels and travel inside very high risk alert level areas.  Travel into or out of very high risk alert level areas is advised against unless it is necessary.

More detailed updates to Covid guidance is available here

Disability dispensation in England and Wales

We have had confirmation in England and Wales that coaches can now support disabled participants where it may mean they need to be closer than social distancing would normally allow (1m in England and 2m in Wales).  This is only permitted if this is for a short duration (few minutes), if the activity has been risk assessed and the coach is wearing a face covering. A face covering is mandatory for this situation.  This means that coaches can now support riders to mount and dismount, check girth, stirrups etc. where they would not have been able to do so before. This has been available to Scottish coaches since the middle of September. Further information can be found here.

Face coverings

We have recently revised our policy on face coverings. Those leading and sidewalking are now allowed to wear face coverings during sessions if they so wish. This is not a substitute for social distancing for activities where people will be in closer contact for more than a few minutes. This means sidewalkers still need to be from the rider’s household/ support bubble.  We would not recommend riders to wear a face covering during ridden sessions as this could impede communication between rider and coach/ volunteers but they can choose to do so if they feel more comfortable, as long as this does not interfere with their safety on the horse (i.e. no loose elements). Further information about face coverings can be found here.

Insurance refund

Your group will be receiving a letter in the next week or so with information about the insurance refund we have been able to negotiate through our brokers as a result of lockdown. The letter will specify the refund due to your group (15%) and how you can claim it.

Survey into activity levels

I have started analysing the results of the recent survey into activity levels at groups. This will be written up as a report, and I will share the findings with you next week. Many thanks to everyone who took part.

Safeguarding training

We are now able to offer a couple of options for renewals of safeguarding training. Although it is not practical to offer in person Face to Face Workshops, we do now have the option of using Zoom. And if you attended a face to face course last time you can refresh using the e-learning. More info here: www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/safeguarding-2/

Countryside Challenge Competition

Many thanks to Sue Mack for running the Countryside Challenge competition. The winners have now been informed, and the new ‘obstacles’ will be incorporated into the course (along with a special appearance from ‘Stevie The Scarecrow’ from Stevenage & District). Congratulations to Clytha, Haworth, Newtownards and Wellow for their winning group entries, and Laura Smith and Daniel Davies who entered individually.

RDA Tracker

The rdatracker website is not working, so please don’t try and use it for the time being.

Staff contacts

The most up to date names, specific roles, numbers, emails and working times will always be found here: www.myrda.org.uk/about-rda/meet-the-team/ (Go to MyRDA, then Contact Us, then Meet the Team).

Page Last Updated: October 15, 2020

Weekly news 6 October

Phones

The new phone system at National Office is up and running. It’s the same as the old one (mainline 01926 492915) but there are now options when you call in to help direct your call. 

Dressage Anywhere

RDA classes for Dressage Anywhere have reopened. The schedule for October is now live and there is a range of led, independent, VI and graded tests available. www.dressageanywhere.com/Competitor/EnterCompetition/601

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Duke of Edinburgh Awards are researching the amount of DofE volunteering that has been happening since lockdown. If you have DofE candidates signed up with your group, please complete the survey if you can – even if there hasn’t been any activity. Thank you. www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RDADofE2020

Page Last Updated: October 15, 2020

Weekly News 1 October

Starting with some sad news. This last month saw the passing of two RDA ‘greats’, Sister Chiara Hatton-Hall and Miss Liz Dendy.

Sister Chiara was one of our founders, attending the very first meeting of the ‘Advisory Council for Riding for the Disabled’ that the BHS set up in April 1964.  She was the first Chair of the Training Committee and created much of what we now recognise as the basis of our excellent Coaching support.  She helped to set up FRDI (which became HETI and brings together RDA-type organisations around the world) and was respected across the globe. 

Liz Dendy was Chair of RDA in the 1990s, skilfully steering us through the transition towards Federation, which many of you will remember. She was instrumental in setting up the International Paralympic Committee, and was a champion for disability sport worldwide.

We owe them a huge debt of gratitude and our thoughts are with their families.

Phone system down on Friday pm

There will be a new phone system at National Office from Monday 5 October (No change to phone numbers). This will be set up from 2pm this Friday.  If you need to contact the office between 2 and 4 pm on Friday, please use the group support email (groupsupport@rda.org.uk) or call 07599 236 036.

AGM and Voting papers

Next week your group will receive voting papers for the virtual AGM on 6 November. Please complete and return your responses as soon as possible.

Government Kickstart Scheme

You may have heard that the government has created a new scheme to encourage and support employers to create work placements for young people in England, Scotland and Wales.  The Kickstart Scheme pays the costs for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment to be employed part time for 6 months.  The placements should support young people to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

There is a minimum number of 30 people who must be enrolled on the scheme, although you can do so as part of a consortium, so RDA UK is looking to see if there is enough interest from groups for us to take this further. You can find out more about the scheme and how to register your interest here: www.myrda.org.uk/government-kickstart-scheme/

New Coaching Lead

Karen Thompson has taken on the role of Coaching Lead for RDA UK. Karen replaces Sue Adams-Wheeler, who has stepped down after 9 years in post. Sue led on many changes in coaching including the new Coaching Pathway and we are hugely grateful for her leadership and experience throughout her time in the role. Karen runs Kesteven Rideability in the North Midlands, and is County Coach and Regional Dressage Rep for North Midlands. 

Virtual Windsor

Congratulations to all the RDA riders who took part in the first ever RDA Dressage Challenge at Virtual Windsor Horse Show, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The overall winner, Elise Coubrough, and the highest placed in each grade will share in the £1,000 worth of vouchers kindly donated by Wychanger Saddlery. You can find all the results from the weekend here: virtual.rwhs.co.uk/results/

Survey about activity levels and closure

I’ll be closing this survey at the end of this week, so please take part if you haven’t already. It takes about 5 minutes and will give us valuable information to help us support you better in the coming months. www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RDAActivityLevels

Brilliant Person Awards

Our Brilliant Person Award closes this weekend, so there’s just time for your entries. Visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9L6QD99

BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Unsung Hero Awards

Nominations are open for BBC SPOTY, which this year also features the ‘Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero’ award. More information and entry details here: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/get-inspired/27037119

Page Last Updated: October 2, 2020

Government Kickstart scheme

You may have heard that the government has created a new scheme to encourage and support employers to create work placements for young people in England, Scotland and Wales.  The Kickstart Scheme pays the costs for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment to be employed part time for 6 months.  The idea is for the placements to support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

There is a minimum number of 30 people who must be enrolled on the scheme, although you can do so as part of a consortium, so RDA UK is looking at the possibility of doing this to support your Group, if this might work for you.  

What funding is available

Funding is available for:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

There is also £1500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.  RDAUK may charge you a proportion of this element in order to help fund a co-ordinated approach to the training program required by the scheme.

How to get the funding

Funding is available following a successful application process.

Who can apply for funding

Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience (RDAUK may be able to provide a co-ordinated approach to this training) including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term.

To find out more about the scheme visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

At the moment we are just looking for groups to register their interest, to find out if we could meet the criteria for 30 people through our ‘consortium’. If you think your group might be interested, please email Peter Dean at RDA National Office at pdean@rda.org.uk 

Page Last Updated: September 29, 2020

Weekly News – 24 September

This is the first of what will become a regular weekly email to all RDA Group Chairs and Contacts.
The emails will usually come from me, and I hope you will feel happy contacting me directly if I can be of help. That said, outside of communications, publicity and PR, you will quickly reach the limit of my knowledge, so please continue to use your usual contacts for other things.

Update your details
This is a great opportunity to help us update our records. If you are no longer Group Chair or the designated Group Contact, please email info@rda.org.uk and let us know – ideally with the name of your replacement.
I know lockdown prevented the publication of this year’s handbook. As an interim measure, I am going to get the current contact information for each region into an electronic format and circulate that as soon as it’s ready.

Government announcement Tuesday
The devolved government announcements on Tuesday brought no specific changes to our current guidelines. Remember that www.myrda.org.uk is being kept up to date with the latest information. If something changes that affects the whole organisation or needs immediate action we will of course email you as soon as possible.

Chief Executive webinars
Throughout lockdown, RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher has recorded a series of webinars about how we have been tackling the challenges of COVID-19 and its impact on RDA. You can watch the latest one – and catch up with previous webinars – on our You Tube Channel at www.youtube.com/RDAnational. A transcript of the latest talk is also available, so please let me know if you’d like a copy.

Virtual Windsor
Tomorrow at 2:30pm is the RDA Dressage Challenge Class at Virtual Windsor Horse Show, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and prizes from Wychanger Saddlery. Congratulations to all who entered, and especially to those who made it into the top ten! Tune in to watch it ‘live’ – with commentary from our very own Dressage Lead John Robinson – at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/

Survey about activity levels and closure
Please don’t forget to complete our survey into activity levels and continued group closure if you haven’t done so already. It takes about 5 minutes and will give us valuable information to help us support you better in the coming months. www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RDAActivityLevels

RDA UK volunteer vacancies
We have several vacancies for Regional and County volunteer roles. If you, or someone you know, would like to find out more about being an RDA UK volunteer, please contact Faye McKenning at National Office on fmckenning@rda.org.uk .

Brilliant Person Awards
There’s still time to nominate someone for our Brilliant Person Award. Visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9L6QD99

Have a good week and stay safe.

Best wishes,
Caroline
Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968
cward@rda.org.uk

Page Last Updated: September 29, 2020

Group Development Manager – Maternity Cover

RDA National Office, Shrewley, Warwick

RDA is a leading national charity, dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled people through horses and our team at national office work closely with our network of national volunteers to ensure RDA Groups are able to provide an excellent experience for those who take part in our activities.

About the role:

We are seeking a new member of staff to play a key role in supporting RDA Groups in developing the excellent service they provide to our participants. This role is an opportunity for someone who prides themselves on their ability to engage with key stakeholders and has strong project management and organisational skills.

The main responsibilities of the role include leading in four key areas:

  • Delivering against the RDA UK Growth Plan
  • Managing the recruitment of new RDA Groups
  • Supporting existing RDA Groups in setting up their governing documents to best fit their future needs
  • Overseeing and administering the delivery of a Sport England funded programme, Accessibility Mark.

It is important that you are a confident communicator with exceptional customer service skills as you will be providing advice and guidance to our volunteer workforce on a regular basis.  We also value adaptability; someone who will enjoy working on new projects and the challenges associated with a varied workload.

This is a temporary role, providing maternity cover, working 34 hours per week (09:00-17:00 Monday to Thursday, 09:00-16:00 Friday, with one hour for lunch), although flexibility will be needed leading up to events with extra hours covered by time off in lieu.

Salary is £25,000 (pro rata) per annum.

Please ring 07493 394237 or email cmilican@rda.org.uk for a full job description, or send your CV to cmilican@rda.org.uk .

Closing date for applications is Tuesday 30th June.  

We are looking for the successful person to start, for a handover period, by mid-August if possible.

Job Description Group Development Manager (Mat Cover) 2020

Page Last Updated: June 22, 2020

RDA UK Coronavirus update as at 17 March 2020

Following the government’s announcement yesterday, asking people to work from home and implement social distancing measures, we now assume that most if not all RDA group activity will have to cease.

Open groups

While it is the decision of your board of trustees whether to close or remain open, RDA’s strong advice is for groups to close and suspend activity.

If you do not, you must be certain that you can meet the guidance around social distancing and that your group can put measures in place to keep everyone safe.

What is social distancing?

  • Social distancing means trying to avoid contact with other people.
  • It means spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around.

You can read the government guidelines on this here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Regional Qualifiers & National Championships

In consultation with Regional Chairs and the Championships Lead, we have decided to cancel all Regional Qualifiers and The National Championships. We know this will be disappointing for everyone involved but please understand we have not made this decision lightly.

Coach reviews, First Aid and Safeguarding Updates

We understand that some training or reviews have a deadline attached to them to enable your coaches and volunteers to continue supporting your group. For the time being, we are issuing 6 month extensions on coach reviews and first aid courses.

Whilst safeguarding training should be updated every three years and alternated between face-to-face and on-line, if anyone is due to update their safeguarding and it should be face to face, they can either:

  • Delay face to face training for up to 6 months i.e. by end of September

or

  • Update online, providing face to face training is then attended within 12 months.

Please be assured; we have run this by our insurers who have agreed the extensions in the current circumstances.

Coach assessments

We advise postponing all coach assessments for the foreseeable future. We know this will be a frustration for the coaches affected, but we must prioritise the health of everyone involved, including the riders and volunteers who would be needed. This will mean the coaches will need to continue to be supervised until such time the assessments can be rescheduled.

Closed groups

Understandably, many RDA groups have now taken the difficult decision to close. We fully support this action and know it has not been made lightly. The impact on participants will be significant, as well as for volunteers, for whom RDA provides an important community.

We will continue to support groups as much as possible during this difficult time. There will be a few staff in the office and the majority will be working from home, but please continue to contact us – by email wherever possible.

Some specific areas you might be interested in:

  • Talk to the comms team about publicity for your group. We will be circulating a template press release to help get support from your local area. This will also be a good time to stay in touch with your RDA community through social media, so please ask if you have any questions or need any advice. cward@rda.org.uk
  • Talk to the fundraising team about how to use this time to fundraise. This could be a good time to look at MyRDA and applying for grants, using social media to fundraise etc. cyapp@rda.org.uk 
  • Use our educational resources to help your participants continue with RDA while they can’t come to sessions. Contact Marisa about Proficiency Tests, Arts & Crafts and more. marisa@rda.org.uk

Groups with paid employees

Employees have now been asked to work from home where possible. This may have an impact on your ability to look after your horses. The government has not issued any advice about this yet. We will let you know as soon as this changes.

In the meantime, ACAS is regularly updating its website with useful advice and information for employers and employees. www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

National Office

National Office remains open, but will be operating with a skeleton staff in the office, with the majority of staff working from home. Please contact us by email wherever possible.

Staying safe

Most importantly, we urge you and everyone involved at your group to prioritise their own health and wellbeing. This is an unprecedented situation for all of us and there is still a lot of change to come. We will do our very best to stay in regular contact, to support you and your community as much as possible, and we wish you all the very best of health and good luck in the coming weeks.

Best wishes,

 

Ed Bracher
Chief Executive, RDA UK
ebracher@rda.org.uk

 

Page Last Updated: March 17, 2020

Advice from RDA UK as at 13 March 2020

Government advice

Following the meeting of the Government’s Cobra committee yesterday, when it was agreed that the UK will move to the ‘delay’ stage of its response, RDA’s policy is that Groups, volunteers and participants should continue to refer to and follow the current official Government advice. You can find this, and more information, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public. This page will always contain the most up to date information. We will therefore not be reprinting this information in our own messages, to avoid out of date advice circulating.

The NHS website also provides guidance on the symptoms, how the disease is spread, and how to avoid catching or spreading germs. You can view this at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

 

RDA specific information

While our advice as a nationwide organisation remains in line with the Government’s position, individual groups, volunteers and participants must feel able to make decisions based on their own specific circumstances.

 

In order for your group to stay open:

  • Everyone must have the ability to wash (or sanitise) their hands in line with government/NHS guidelines
  • Ensure that your volunteers and participants don’t feel under any obligation to attend if they have concerns
  • Respect the feelings of everyone at your group and take their concerns seriously

 

In addition:

  • There is a leaflet for visitors to your site that you can download here and use if you wish VisitorAdviceCorona Virus 
  • You may wish to talk to your schools, care providers or other groups about their plans and if they are happy to continue coming

 

If your trustees decide to suspend the group

  • Please email us at info@rda.org.uk to let us know so we can keep up to date with the changing situation nationally.

   

Groups with paid employees

It seems likely that, as the situation escalates, employees will be asked to work from home. This may have an impact on your ability to look after your horses. The government has not issued any advice about this yet. We will let you know as soon as this changes.

 

In the meantime, ACAS is regularly updating its website with useful advice and information for employers and employees. https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

 

Regional Qualifiers and National Championships

Government advice does not currently restrict gatherings or events on the scale of our regional qualifiers and championships. We are reviewing the situation, but for the time being please assume they are continuing.

 

National Office

We remain open for business as usual, so please contact us with any questions or concerns. If the office has to close we will inform you as soon as possible. You can contact the office on 01926 492915 or email info@rda.org.uk.

Page Last Updated: March 16, 2020

Advice on Coronavirus from RDA UK as at 10 March 2020

Following the meeting of the Government’s Cobra committee yesterday, when it was agreed that the UK will remain in the ‘containment’ stage of its response, RDA’s policy is that Groups, volunteers and participants should continue to refer to and follow the current official Government advice. You can find this, and more information, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public. This page will always contain the most up to date information. We will therefore not be reprinting this information in our own messages, to avoid out of date advice circulating.

 

While our advice as a nationwide organisation remains in line with the Government’s position, individual groups, volunteers and participants must feel able to make decisions based on their own specific circumstances. Just like everyone else, volunteers, staff and participants should follow the standard advice on self-isolation if that is applicable. As you will understand, this is a rapidly changing situation so it is worth continuing to check the Government webpage for updates, and follow their advice to guide your decisions.

   

The NHS website also provides guidance on the symptoms, how the disease is spread, and how to avoid catching or spreading germs. You can view this at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/   

 

If the situation changes, and/or we update our advice we will of course let you know immediately. If you have any specific concerns please do get in touch with us directly.

Page Last Updated: March 13, 2020

RDA UK has partnered with McClure Solicitors

RDA UK has partnered with McClure Solicitors (who have 14 offices across the UK) who offer their free will and free will review service all year round, to anyone wishing to access it, at no obligation. In addition they offer a special price Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney service.

The free will service raises substantial funds for charities via donations, gift aid and gifts in wills. 

For more information on this partnership and how it may be of benefit to your RDA Group or Region please contact Lisa MacDonald at RDA National Office on lmacdonald@rda.org.uk or 07739 383666.

Page Last Updated: February 7, 2020

Job Opportunity – Essex

Chigwell Riding Trust is look for an experienced coach five days a week. This is a great opportunity for the right person. The role includes Coaching, schooling horses and yard work. Accommodation on site and a car is essential. Contact Deborah on 020 8500 6051 or email deborah@chigride.org.uk for more information.

Page Last Updated: January 9, 2020

The new faces of para-equestrian dressage to represent Great Britain 

The British Equestrian Federation has announced the UK Sport National Lottery funded para-equestrian dressage squad which will compete at the FEI Longines European Championships in Rotterdam, Holland (21–25 August 2019).

This year’s team includes three combinations who will be contesting their first senior championships, while Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction will be out to defend their Freestyle gold medal from the European Championships in 2017.

In alphabetical order, the selected squad has been named by British Dressage selectors as…

  • Mari Durward-Akhurst (Grade I) with Glesni Owen’s Sky O’Hara
  • Nicky Greenhill (Grade IV) with her own and Gary Greenhill’s Betty Boo
  • Sophie Wells (Grade V) with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction
  • Georgia Wilson (Grade II) with her own and Geoff and Julie Wilson’s Midnight

Performance Manager Georgina Sharples said “Many congratulations to all the selected combinations, their owners and support teams. It is wonderful to see three first-time championship athletes included in this selection – they’ll have the chance to experience a championship environment as part of the build up to Tokyo 2020. Also representing Great Britain in her eleventh major championships, Paralympic, World and European multi-medallist Sophie Wells, will bring a wealth of experience as will a highly committed and knowledgeable support Team.”

Jason Brautigam, British Dressage Chief Executive, commented; “It’s fantastic to see three new names getting the call-up to the team this year, alongside the extensive Championship experience of Sophie Wells. With qualification for next year’s Paralympics already assured, it’s great to provide opportunities for new combinations to make their mark on the international stage. Competition for places has been fierce this year, with a number of riders in line for selection, which shows the fantastic depth we have in the programme just one year out from Tokyo. Congratulations to the chosen four and we look forward to cheering you on in Rotterdam.”

Nicky and Sophie have also been selected with direct reserve horses, Nicky with Gary Greenhill and her own King Edward I and Sophie with her own Diadeem.

The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.

 

 

Page Last Updated: July 31, 2019

Job opportunity at the RDA – Project Co-ordinator (Tracker)

RDA National Office, Shrewley, Warwick

RDA is a leading national charity, dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled people through horses and our team at national office work closely with our network of national volunteers to ensure RDA Groups are able to provide an excellent experience for those who take part in our activities.

About the role:

We are seeking a new member of staff to play a key role in coordinating the delivery of our Tracker development plan. This role is an opportunity for someone who prides themselves on their ability to engage with key stakeholders and has strong project management and organisational skills.

The main responsibilities of the role include leading in three key areas:

  • To co-ordinate the development of the Tracker tool
  • To ensure groups using the Tracker have sufficient guidance and support
  • To promote the use of tracker data by RDA groups

It is important that you are a confident communicator with exceptional customer service skills as you will be providing advice and guidance to our volunteer workforce on a regular basis.  We also value adaptability; someone who will enjoy working on a new project and the challenges associated with a varied workload.

 

This is a fixed term role finishing on 31st March 2020 working 3 days (21 hours) per week although flexibility will be needed leading up to events with extra hours covered by time off in lieu.

Salary is £20,000 (pro rata) per annum.

Full job description

Please ring 01926 405966 or email mcobble@rda.org.uk for more information, or send your CV and a covering letter to mcobble@rda.org.uk  or Matthew Cobble Group Support and Volunteer Manager, RDA National Office, Lowlands Equestrian Centre, Old Warwick Road, Shrewley, Warwick CV35 7AX.

Closing date for applications is 2nd August 2019.

https://www.myrda.org.uk/21148-2/

Page Last Updated: July 18, 2019

Job opportunity at RDA NATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE – NTC Centre Manager

RDA NATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE

CENTRE & COMMERCIAL MANAGER

RDA has developed a new National Training Centre and we are now seeking a dynamic and driven person to lead the work to make this a commercially successful, world class equestrian centre.  Based near Warwick, this is an exciting opportunity for the right person to make a significant impact on our work and what we can achieve.

The Role

The Centre Manager will be responsible to delivering an exciting plan to develop the activities on sire, ensure excellent customer service and manage the facility.  The Manager will oversee all operations at the Centre, develop and increase commercial activity, and plan the expansion and next stage of development.  Working with our yard team and coaches, s/he will also be responsible for ensuring that the Centre meets the highest standards, allowing it to be an example of great practice to the wider RDA network and beyond.

Salary – £30,000 – £35,000 (depending on experience), plus benefits

See www.rda.org.uk for the role description and more information

The Successful Candidate

You will be a driven individual, with a passion for what RDA achieves and a willingness to go the extra mile to make sure that the centre meets its targets.  You will have a proven track record of managing a facility and managing a team to deliver challenging targets; and you will be dedicated to ensuring we achieve a high standard of customer service.  You will be comfortable working with volunteers and support the ethos of a voluntary organisation.

About us

RDA is a National federation of charities that enriches the lives of disabled people through activities with horses, by providing meaningful therapy, opportunities for achievement and the joy of working with horses.  This National Training Centre is a new venture, which will house our new National Headquarters and will help us underline our commitment to training and supporting our volunteers to continually improve and increase our service.

Apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter, explain why you meet the criteria to:

Angela Sly, asly@rda.org.uk

RDA, Lowlands Equestrian Centre, Old Warwick Road, Shrewley, Warwickshire, CV35 7AX

Closing date for applications Monday 15th April 2019

NTC MANAGER job ad full version
NTC MANAGER Background
NTC Centre Manager Job Description

 

 

Page Last Updated: April 2, 2019

Job opportunity at the Elisabeth Curtis Centre

The Elisabeth Curtis Centre is a dedicated RDA centre providing riding for over 100 children and adults with special needs and disabilities. We now have vacancies for two part time grooms to join our team.

One position to cover; Monday to Thursday mornings, Friday, Saturday morning and evening 24 hours

Second position to cover; Monday to Thursday afternoon/evening, Friday, Sunday morning and evening 16 hours

Hours/days may be negotiable depending on co-worker Flexibility needed to ensure cover for emergencies etc. Main duties include:
• Bringing in, feeding, grooming and tacking up ponies
• Mucking out and general yard duties
• Checking fields
• Tack cleaning
• Clipping when required
• Exercising ponies – either ridden or groundwork (Centre weight limits apply for ridden work)

Will need to be able to work independently and with our team of coaches and volunteers
28 days paid holiday (including bank holidays) Salary dependant on experience.

Proven experience or relevant qualifications required, for example;
BHS Stage 2 Care (eQL Level 2 diploma in Horse Knowledge and Care) or the eQL Level 2 WBd diploma in Horse Care.
BHS Stage 3 Care (eQL Level 3 diploma in Horse Knowledge and Care), or the equivalent level of WBd.

DBS Check will need to be completed.

Applications in writing to elisabethcurtiscentre@gmail.com or The Elisabeth Curtis Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Bromham, Bedford, MK43 8HP – CV and covering letter

Any queries, please call 01234 604063
Closing Date – 15th March 2019

Page Last Updated: March 1, 2019

RDA Brand Research – have your say

Survey now live

Following the RDA UK Board’s decision to research the RDA brand, our research partners, The Frameworks, have compiled an online survey, which will remain open for the next month. The survey takes a few minutes to complete and will ask for your views on RDA, our reputation, name and logo.

You can find the survey using the link here:

https://thef.net/RDAsurvey

Why are we taking this step?

For several years, throughout the whole organisation, the strength of the RDA brand has been under discussion. The milestone of our 50th anniversary seems to have reignited the topic.

With strong feelings – and only limited anecdotal evidence – on all sides of the debate, the RDA Board has decided to carry out a research project to gather some real insight into the RDA brand for the first time.

A brand research company, The Frameworks, has been appointed to carry out this work, with a brief to explore three key questions:

1)            To what extent does our current brand hold us back from achieving our aims?

2)            To what extent does our current brand help us to achieve our aims?

3)            How significant is the RDA brand in creating a sense of belonging among the RDA community? 

The research aims to include the views of as many people with the RDA community as possible, and will involve one-to-one interviews, focus groups and and the online questionnaire.

The results of the research will be presented to the Board in June. Depending on the outcome of the research, the Board will then decide whether or not to take any further steps.

We hope that you, your participants, volunteers and supporters will want to take part in this discussion. It is important we end up with a range of views from across the whole organisation.

For more information, please see the prepared FAQs below or, if you have any further questions, please contact the office on info@rda.org.uk

FAQs

Why has the RDA Board decided to research the RDA brand?

The strength (or otherwise) of the RDA brand has been under discussion for several years within all parts of the organisation. The milestone of the 50th anniversary seems to have reignited the topic. In order to gain clarity and proper insight into this area – rather than rely on a small amount of anecdotal evidence – the board has decided to undertake this research.

What do we mean by ‘brand’?

It’s important to recognise that a ‘brand’ is more than just a logo and a name. These elements are important, of course, but so is the language we use to communicate, the values we all try to live up to and the way we behave, both with each other and with the people we serve. All of these combine to deliver a public understanding of what RDA stands for and promises, and this is what we mean by a brand.

Are you planning to change the name RDA?

The scope of the brand research is to explore three key questions:

  • To what extent does our current brand hold us back from achieving our aims?
  • To what extent does our current brand help us to achieve our aims?
  • How significant is the RDA brand in creating a sense of belonging among the RDA community?

Only when we have answers to these questions will be in a position to contemplate changes to the name or visual identity. Nothing is off the table, but we’re a long way from making any decisions about significant changes.

Who is carrying out the research?

Following a competitive pitch process, the board has contracted The Frameworks (www.theframeworks.com) to carry out the research. The Frameworks is a specialist design consultancy with a research-focused methodology and an established track record in brand strategy.

What will it cost?

This research project will cost £20,000. We have an ongoing commitment to investing in research, to make sure that we are as effective as possible and that everything we do is based on an identified need. We are currently spending less than 2% of our total turnover on research and this project represents slightly less than half of that cost.

What will happen when the results are in?

The Frameworks will present their findings to the RDA board in June. At this point, they may also present some suggestions for next steps, but this is not within the remit of this initial project.

How can I have my say?

It is vital that we include the views of as many people as possible throughout the whole organisation. There will be some one-to-one interviews and focus groups, which you may be approached to take part in. The best way to ensure your views are counted will be through completing the online survey, which is now open.

Page Last Updated: May 23, 2019

Job Opportunity at the Cavalier Centre

Cavalier Centre – Family and Volunteer Liaison Manager role

Future home of the Perry RDA Charity number 1163030

An exciting opportunity has been created at the newly built £1.3m Cavalier Centre, future home of the Perry Riding for the Disabled Group based close to the historic town of Much Wenlock. We are looking to recruit a full time Family and Volunteer Liaison Manager (salary  £27,000 p.a. 40hr/wk) to join the core team who will be running this unique facility and creating a centre of excellence for Riding, Vaulting  and Driving for the Disabled and engaging with other local and national community-based organisations,  “ to deliver meaningful and life changing experiences”.

 This position is kindly funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund until 2022.          

The successful candidate will have exceptional communication skills, be very organised, compassionate, trustworthy with a successful event planning or organisational background. Should have good experience of working with and training volunteers as well as advising on services and support to disabled and disadvantaged groups of varying ages and abilities.       

If you believe you meet the above criteria and have the ability to work flexibly, please visit our website www.cavaliercentre.org for more information, to view a detailed job description and download an application form or email barkerj667@gmail.com and request documents to be sent to you. Deadline for the applications is 8th March 2019 and interviews will take place on or after 15th March 2019.

Page Last Updated: February 18, 2019

BEF advice on equine flu outbreak

Following the recent outbreak of equine flu, the British Equestrian Federation has issued advice for horse owners. You can find it here: Advice on equine flu

Page Last Updated: February 8, 2019

HRH Princess Anne Chairs 49th RDA AGM

The 49th RDA AGM took place in Glasgow under the Chairmanship of the charity’s President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. Held within the splendour of Trades Hall, Glasgow, the AGM brought together delegates from RDA groups all over the UK – many of whom enjoyed a traditional Scottish welcome at the previous evening’s Ceilidh.

In her President’s address, The Princess acknowledged that next year’s 50th anniversary would be the time for reflections, but she took time to recognise the experience and expertise within the RDA family, made up of many years dedicated service by RDA’s volunteers and coaches.

Delegates were treated to talks from RDA riders Max Stainton, who recently became the first person with Cerebral Palsy to trek to Everest Basecamp on a horse, and Anne Brown, whose dedication to RDA extends to having the charity moto tattooed on her behind!

When asked about speaking in front of The Princess, Anne Brown said: “I was trying not to see her there but, of course, had to have a few sneaky peeks to gauge how it was going. As I realised she was smiling, then laughing, I kinda relaxed a bit. I was worried that I was overstepping the mark a wee bit, but it seems I wasn’t, so I’m glad that I went for it.”

The AGM also offered the opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of outgoing RDA Chairman, Sam Orde, whose time in office officially ends in April 2019. Sam was presented with an Honorary Life Vice Presidency by The Princess Royal, who thanked her for the nine years she has given to the role.

The lively programme also included a welcome from The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander and presentations from Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of Sport Scotland, Occupational Therapist Rhona Harkness and Hazel Johnstone of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Director of Operations for RDA UK, Claire Milican presented her ‘Top of the Ops’ – a run down of the top ten innovations, improvements and activities delivered by the operations team at RDA National Office during this year.

Communications Manager, Caroline Ward, offered a taster of the proposed celebrations for RDA’s 50th anniversary throughout 2019.

“Thank you to our regional team in West & Central Scotland for hosting this year’s AGM,” said RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher. “I am also grateful to Her Royal Highness, not just for chairing the business of the day, but for taking the time to meet so many of our participants and volunteers during her visit. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our 50th AGM next year!”

For copies of any of the day’s presentations please email Angela Sly at asly@rda.org.uk

Awards
• Honorary Life Vice Presidents – RDA UK Chairman Sam Orde and Deputy Chairman Sheila Saner
• President’s Award – Patricia Wilding of Clytha RDA
• Dudley Smith Award – Joan Jack and Alison Mackintosh – Brae RDA
• Loriners Education Award – Moray RDA
• Birt Spooner Cup – Max Stainton

Page Last Updated: November 19, 2018

Job Opportunity at The Diamond Centre RDA

The Diamond Centre Riding for the Disabled in Carshalton, Surrey is looking for a Yard Manager to join their professional team. This is a live-in position. The successful candidate will be highly motivated, well organised with excellent communication and stable management skills. They will be responsible for the management and care of the Diamond’s ‘Stable Assets’ which include 30 horses and ponies and associated tack, land, arenas and equipment. They will work as a member of the management team who will develop, maintain and supervise a teaching programme to meet the objectives of The Diamond Centre – that being the provision of riding and driving for disabled children and adults. They will have at least a BHS AI qualification and a minimum of 3 years practical experience in yard management. The package includes a self-contained 2 bedroom flat on site along with a competitive salary.

Please apply direct to the Centre Manager, Angela Moloney angela.moloney@diamondcentre.org.uk

Image result for the diamond centre rda

Page Last Updated: October 22, 2018

New Research Into The Benefits of RDA Volunteering

A new study is set to reveal the motivations and benefits experienced by volunteers who give their time to RDA. The biggest survey of its kind carried out by RDA aims to capture information from as many of the charity’s 19,000 volunteers as possible.

If you are an RDA Volunteer you can take part by following the link below

https://ns24.askia.com/WebProd/cgi-bin/askiaext.dll?Action=StartSurvey&SurveyName=Mane

“There is plenty of anecdotal evidence about the importance of volunteering in how people feel about themselves, and RDA volunteers are no exception,” explains Matt Cobble, Volunteer Development Manager at RDA UK. “But we have never been able to back that up with proper research. Many key organisations in the sporting world are now recognising volunteering in sport as an activity in its own right, now is a great time for us to find out if there really is a positive impact on those who take part.”

The results of the survey will be added to a qualitative study on the same subject. Both elements will form part of a White Paper to be launched in Parliament during the Spring of 2019 as part of RDA’s 50th anniversary.

The survey will be circulated to groups and will also be available on the RDA website, Twitter and Facebook pages. “We are urging all volunteers to take part. It doesn’t take long to complete and will give us valuable insight into the difference volunteering can make,” says Matt.

Page Last Updated: October 17, 2018

RDA seeks ’50 Faces’ for anniversary project

For our 50th anniversary in 2019, RDA UK is running an external facing publicity campaign with the aim of raising awareness of RDA to the general public. The campaign ’50 faces’ will comprise 50 portrait photographs of people within our organisation who challenge the perceptions of disability, volunteering or equestrian sport. The resulting portraits will form an interactive collage which will be used as a focal point for the RDA website, media campaign and social media throughout our 50th.

We will visit all our chosen participants to take the portrait and interview them. This will be a unique and engaging piece on the individual, their background or their RDA journey and will help to show the diverse range of participants and volunteers that make up RDA. 

 

What do I need to do if I want to participate?

Please email Beth Randles with a picture and brief background information about yourself, this will help us to choose a range of people from all different areas of RDA whether you are a volunteer, participant, parent or paid member of staff – we would like to represent everyone.

Beth Randles – brandles@rda.org.uk 

What should i include in the email?

In case you are not sure what to include in your email you could tell us about:

  • How you got into RDA & your RDA journey
  • Your age & background
  • Something unique & interesting that you also participate in – for instance other hobbies or your career 
  • Future aspirations 

Please be aware if you would like to participate in this campaign it is important that everyone involved feels comfortable with their name, image and story being publicly available and shared by RDA in print, broadcast and online- including social media. We hope to generate interest from the media through this campaign, so possible candidates should consider if they are happy to talk to journalists around their involvement with RDA (with support and guidance from us). 

 

 

Page Last Updated: October 11, 2018

9 year old Charlotte is RDA ‘Rider of the Year’

Clare Balding presents award to ‘determined’ Charlotte at charity fundraiser

Charlotte Seth, a 9-year old rider at Haworth Riding for the Disabled group in Yorkshire has been named ‘Rider of the Year’ at RDA’s annual awards night. Hosted by broadcaster and author Clare Balding, the evening also featured appearances from journalist and newscaster Alastair Stewart, Paralympian Natasha Baker and celebrity auctioneer Philip Serrell.

Rider of the Year Charlotte has Joberts Syndrome . This leaves her with balance and coordination problems, poor fine and gross motor skills and proprioception issues. She started riding with RDA when she was four. At the time, she needed a team of three volunteers around her as poor core strength meant that she was unable to sit upright on the pony.
“Riding is therapy without Charlotte realising the therapy is actually happening,” said Haworth Group Coach Jane Lawrence.

Through Charlotte’s determination, her RDA group have witnessed amazing progress in all areas of Charlotte’s development. Her core strength has improved to the extent that she now, with support, walks up the mounting block steps, supports herself on the pony and sits upright. She smiles throughout her whole lesson, even when she finds a session tiring.“She is so much more in control of where she wants to go and what she wants to do,” says Jane. “I’m so proud of her – I think she’s amazing.”

When asked what she wants to do when she grows up Charlotte replied, “I want to be able to do anything. I want to tell everyone they can do anything.”

 

Natasha Baker, Joanna Jensen of Childs Farm, Helen Seth, Charlotte Seth, Clare Balding

Clare Balding also presented awards to Volunteer and Young Volunteer of the Year and RDA Horse of the Year.

Volunteer of the Year – Helen Bacon, Pegasus RDA, Manchester
Helen is one of the founding trustees and a coach at Pegasus RDA which launched in Feb 2017. Helen runs the group day in and day out as if it was her full-time job, not a volunteer position. Everyone who touches Pegasus RDA benefits from the immense effort and time Helen gives and she has been instrumental in all of Pegasus’s greatest achievements over the past year.

To top this off, Helen was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2016. Through several gruelling courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, more scans and injections that I can keep track of, a lumpectomy and most recently a hysterectomy and appendix removal, Helen hasn’t stopped for breath when it comes to RDA.

In Helen’s citation, Haworth Group Chair Gill Petty wrote: “Pegasus undoubtedly would not be the amazing success it is now without Helen. For this and her selflessness, kindness and relentless energy to drive us forward, we nominate Helen Bacon as Volunteer of the Year.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clare Balding, Helen Bacon, Penny Taylor of Godolphin

Young Volunteer of the Year – Nia Miller, East Liverpool RDA
Faced with her own challenges of significant dyslexia and verbal dyspraxia, Nia is determined to achieve and to support others. As such, she Nia began volunteering at RDA and Sports Disability Academy Liverpool. As a volunteer Nia has coached specialised sports, officiated and assisted in running events with participants from around the country.
Nia has taken her passion for equine assisted therapy into her academic life, with her first degree dissertation in “Self-perceptions of disabled participants engaging in equine therapy” and her Masters in “Exploring female domestic abuse survivor’s experience of equine therapy”.

As RDA Group Coach Nia teaches individual and group lessons, ensuring all participants with different needs are safely cared for. She takes great pride in her care for both horse and participants. Modestly, she takes no credit for the enormous achievements of East Liverpool RDA at Regional and National Championships, as well on a weekly basis with their clients.

Nicole Adams of People’s Postcode Lottery, Nia Miller, Alastair Stewart

Horse of the Year – Lambrusco, South Bucks RDA
Lambrusco is a 26 year old 16.2h grey WB gelding. Lambrusco joined South Bucks RDA in January 2007. He is a gentle giant and has always been popular in RDA classes. With such a wonderful temperament he was soon competing in RDA Dressage and Para Dressage and in 2008 he went to Hong Kong and won 2 Gold and 1 Silver Medal with Sophie Christiansen.

Lambrusco is still giving pleasure to many riders on a weekly basis. His riders range from age 8 to 75 and he regularly does lead rein RDA sessions and private walk sessions with independent riders. He is so reliable and loves to go out around the woods for a good leg stretch. He recently won the RDA Dressage Anywhere Grade 1 Championship with a 60+ yr old stroke survivor on an amazing Score of 77.94%, proving to all that he still has it and is happy in his work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clare Balding, Helen Burt (South Bucks RDA), Marilyn Harford of SnuggyHoods

A night of celebration and fundraising
The four awards provided the backbone to an evening full of celebration that also included songs from internationally renowned Baritone Roderick Williams. Guests were treated to an interview by Alastair Stewart with Natasha Baker, and the evening culminated in an auction led by TV’s Philip Serrell.

Page Last Updated: September 28, 2018

SEIB Search for a Star RDA Showing Championship 2018

Homebred horse takes the SEIB Search for a Star Riding for the Disabled Championship

The much anticipated SEIB Search for a Star Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Championship final took place on the 6th September at the British Show Horse Association Hunter Championship Show at Addington. Qualified horses and riders travelled the length and breadth of the country, from Sunderland to Devon to attend the final.

The title went to John Hackett’s stunning homebred, Johan’s Debut, ridden by Tracy Steel. The judges, Jane Holderness-Roddam, Rob Walker and Addington proprietor, Tim Price were unanimous in deciding upon the winner.

Now in its second year, the Search for a Star RDA championship is really proving to be a great hit with competitors. Sarah Hadley of the RDA said: “Showing has added a welcome new dimension to the competitive opportunities open to RDA riders and this championship was a fittingly glamorous end to a fabulous season of events throughout 2018. Thanks to SEIB, not just for supporting this competition but for everything they are doing to promote Showing for RDA. We are also grateful to BSHA for allowing this class to be held at the Championships and to Addington Manor for hosting.”

John Hackett’s winning 16-year-old gelding, the homebred, Johan’s Debut is known as Devlin at home. He said: “I bought Devlin’s dam years ago and he is very much the one and only horse I have ever bred.” Tracy and Devlin qualified for the Search for a Star RDA final by winning the qualifier at the Hartpury RDA Championship. Tracy said: “Devlin got in the ring, knew what to do and just got on with it. He is brilliant. This win has really given me the drive to go on to do open SEIB Search for a Star classes next year.”

Tracy added: “The atmosphere at the championship was just brilliant. In the busy warm-up arena, I noticed that one of the younger competitors was becoming a bit overwhelmed so me and Devlin went over to speak to her. I suggested that she should walk round with me and Devlin. So we spent our warm-up together, walking round, making sure that the young girl was ok to get in the ring and do her best. I continued to keep an eye out for her when the class started.”

 “The reason we went all out to do the Search for a Star RDA Showing this year was to help raise the profile of RDA riders. Classes such as this make you really realise you can do it and that everyone is getting the same opportunity to get out there with the horses and do something new. This class really focussed on looking at how the horses and ponies are produced and not what the riders’ disabilities are and what they can and can’t do.” Tracy is a grade 4 rider and RDA coach with the Tyne and Wear RDA group at the Washington Riding Centre.

Thirteen-year-old Isabella Benfield and her mother, Alison’s pony, Cookies and Cream took the runner up spot. Isabella and Cookie nearly didn’t get to the finals. Alison said: “Doing so well came as a bit of a shock! We have had all sorts of problems with Cookie’s saddle slipping in the run up to the championship, luckily putting a gel pad under the saddle helped massively and enabled them to put in a great performance.” Isabella suffers from cerebral palsy and is very determined with her riding. She has ridden since she was three and the Benfield family have owned Cookie for two-years now. Alison added. “It is Isabella’s absolute dream to one day ride in the dressage in the para Olympics. We are always keen to support any competitions that are put on for para riders and the SEIB showing series has provided Isabella with a brilliant opportunity to do something a bit different with Cookie.” Isabella is a member of the Stratford-upon-Avon RDA group and is trained by Brittany Lankston.

Kayla Pratt and Claire Robinson’s skewbald pony, Hunky Dory took third place in the Search for a Star RDA Championship. Seventeen-year old Kayla said: “I felt honoured to have the opportunity to go to this exciting show with Dory. Everyone went into the ring with a smile on their face and I am just delighted for Dory that we did so well.” Hunky Dory’s owner, Claire Robinson, owns Robinson’s Equiteach in Great Ayton, Middlesborough. Two ponies and riders from Claire’s yard qualified for the Search for a Star RDA Championships. Phoebe Whitfield riding another of Claire’s ponies, Alice, also competed in the final. They finished in seventh place.

Kayla’s mother, Sandy said: “Kayla has been riding at Claire’s since she was six. It is such a fantastic place and Claire is phenomenal with the effort, time and energy that she puts in. It is a real team effort and we all either travel to the shows together or in convoy. On Thursday we all piled into Claire’s wagon with the two ponies for the four-hour plus journey.” Kayla who suffers from a language disability disorder is studying for a BTEC in Art and Design at the Northern School of Art.

In fourth place was 10-year-old Kassia Dudek riding Natalie Burns’ black pony, Rio. Natalie runs the East Liverpool RDA Group which has 28 RDA ponies.  Kassia learned to ride on Rio and has been riding him for around three years.

Taking fifth and sixth place in the finals were two riders from ‘Ride 2 Achieve’ RDA group in Hereford. The team from Ride 2 Achieve very nearly didn’t make the finals following a blow out on the motorway en route to Addington. Janet Alderton who runs Ride 2 Achieve said: “A huge thank you to the fantastic judges and stewards and all our fellow competitors for allowing our riders to join the class 5 minutes after it had started. My daughter, Jo Alderton drove like a pro following our blowout on the motorway.”

In fifth was Alex Stevens from Ride 2 Achieve with Briony Sellar’s, Caplor Hill Billy.  Alex said: “Billy’s owner, Briony thought that me and Billy would get on well together showing so she suggested aiming at this class. We have had a pretty intensive stint of training to get ready for the competition. I work really hard to be competitive with my riding and we have a really great group of people at Ride 2 Achieve and everyone really supports each other with a huge focus on enjoying the horses”. 20-year-old Alex works as an engineer and he mainly competes in para showjumping competitions.

Lesley Sayers and Janet Alderton’s, Marteg Victory were delighted to take 6th place in the final. This is the second year that Lesley, who is registered blind, has competed in Search for a Star. She said: “I have ridden since I was a child. When I lost my sight, I had been having a break from riding, but once I had my guide dog I found Janet and ‘Ride 2 Achieve’ and decided to give riding another go, she has been so supportive. When I am riding, it is the one time that I feel truly independent and doing something on my own. I don’t need my guide dog or my mum to help.”

SEIB’s Marketing Manager Nicolina MacKenzie said: “SEIB is renowned for putting something back and I think we have really achieved this with the RDA Search for a Star. Many of the riders in the final are fairly new to showing. Some of our competitors have expressed an interest in competing in the open Search for a Star classes next year which is just brilliant.”

The SEIB Search for a Star RDA competition requires competitors to ride around the ring together in walk and trot before lining up and performing an individual show.  Any type of horse or pony is able to compete and the class will be judged 30% on conformation, 30% on turnout and 40% on suitability, manners and way of going, so giving a good individual show will be important to the overall result. Full rules for the competition are to be found on the Search for a Star website.   

Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more.   The company has a long association with the showing world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting many grassroots equestrian events and activities. 

For full details, rules and entry forms visit www.search4astar.org.uk and click through to the RDA section. Find SEIB Search for a Star on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SEIB.Search4AStar.

For insurance queries visit www.seib.co.uk or call 01708 850000.

Page Last Updated: September 21, 2018