Job Opportunity at Clwyd Special Riding Centre

Volunteer Coordinator

£17,500 pro rata 25 hours per week

Fixed Term Contract 12 months

You will recruit new volunteers and ensure roles are clearly defined and allocated.  You will also coordinate and support all volunteers in order to maintain the high standards at Clwyd Special Riding Centre.

 

Closing date:  10am Wednesday 6 November 2019

Invitation to interview will be sent via email Wednesday 6 November 2019

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 13 November 2019

For application forms please contact CSRC on 01352 770446 or email: centremanager@clwydspecialridingcentre.co.uk

Page Last Updated: October 23, 2019

New job opportunity at the Cavalier Centre

An exciting opportunity has been created at the newly built £1.3m Cavalier Centre, home of Perry Riding for the Disabled. Based in the heart of Shropshire, close to the historic town of Much Wenlock, The Cavalier Centre is looking to recruit a commercially minded Centre Manager who will take responsibility for running this unique centre and developing and shaping its exciting future.

The Trustees are planning to take the turnover of this centre from £50k to £500kin 3 – 5 years.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a solid knowledge of business management, enjoy a flexible and versatile environment working with a wide range of ages, backgrounds and abilities and have a genuine interest in people from a variety of backgrounds Preferable experience will include volunteering, equine, management and marketing. Personal attributes will include the desire and energy to move the business forward, excellent leadership skills, confident in public speaking, good organisational skills and an eye for detail.

Deadline for applications is 12th November Interviews will take place 15th November.

If you are interested in applying,please get in touch to arrange a visit. info@cavaliercentre.org.uk

Or for more details visit www.cavaliercentre.org/workforus/ 

Page Last Updated: October 17, 2019

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

Coach Vacancies at Scropton RDA

We’re looking for an experienced and progressive Senior Coach to be an important driver in transforming us into a centre of excellence. The role is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of coaching at our centre, be the face of our centre and set the bar for our standards. For an ambitious candidate with the right attitude and values, this is a great chance to make a real difference to our centre and everyone who rides there.

There is also a vacancy for a dynamic and enthusiastic Coach to be an important part of our coaching team. The candidate must have a positive attitude and share our values, this is a great chance to make a real difference to our centre and everyone who rides there.

Scropton Riding Centre is a busy riding centre in Derbyshire, home to both Scropton Riding for the Disabled and Scropton Equestrian Centre providing able-bodied lessons.

Please visit www.scropton.com/vacancies for more information 

Page Last Updated: June 24, 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 BEF

The British Equestrian Federation are seeking two experienced managers to support the Para-Equestrian Dressage team.

PERFORMANCE MANAGER FOR PARA-EQUESTRIAN DRESSAGE

The British Equestrian Federation is looking for a Performance Manager to lead our highly successful Para-Equestrian Dressage team to international competitions, European Championships, World Championships and Paralympic Games.

You will develop a high performance system that consistently delivers medal success at Championship level. You will be expected to provide leadership and management of the UK Sport World Class Para-Equestrian Dressage Podium programme, working collaboratively to utilise shared knowledge and experience across the programme in order to maximise performance gains and deliver world class medal-winning success.

 

PATHWAY MANAGER FOR PARA-EQUESTRIAN DRESSAGE

The British Equestrian Federation is looking for a Pathway Manager to join our highly successful team that has consistently delivered medals at international competitions.

You will provide highly effective management of the UK Sport Lottery Funded World Class Programme Podium Potential ParaEquestrian Dressage programme and work with the Performance Manager to utilise shared knowledge and experience to deliver an effective Performance Pathway Programme that recognises potential, nurtures growth and drives sustained medal success. You will develop, evolve and implement the technical development framework for para-equestrian dressage athletes to transition to the Podium squad and deliver medal-winning performances.

 

For more details please visit:

www.bef.co.uk/Detail.aspx?page=Job-Vacancies

Page Last Updated: March 7, 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

RDA, BD Intellectually Disabled Championships

Saturday 1st September at Solihull Riding Club

Over the last few months British Dressage (BD) and RDA have been working together to create a new opportunity for RDA Intellectually Disabled (ID) riders to compete.  With the help of Rachel Smith (Sport Operations Officer), Natasha Pearce (Para Officer) and Julie Frizzell (Para Director) from British Dressage and John Robinson (RDA Dressage Chairman) this would never have come to fruition.

Riders that had competed in the RDA Regional Qualifiers in ID walk only, walk & trot and walk, trot and canter classes were selected and invited to attend the Championships at Solihull.  27 entries came forward from around the country to proceed down the centreline and deliver some excellent tests.  It was amazing to see so many happy faces, thanks also go to triple gold medallist Julie Payne for presenting all of the riders with their rosettes and taking the time to pose for so many photographs with her gold medals.

Congratulations to all the highest placed junior riders, Jonathan Rigby in the walk only class, Jessica White in walk & trot and Kasia Dudek-Mcgee in the canter class who received extra rosettes

We are really looking forward to working with BD again on this Championships.  Please keep a look out for news on the 2019 event.

Page Last Updated: September 21, 2018

International Para Dressage rider Diane Greene owes it all to Watershed RDA…..

A fabulous 3 days for me at The RDA National Championships where I was helping the British Dressage Team and supporting some of my riders who were competing – I had such a lovely time meeting some truly inspirational riders and horses and the teams that support them.  I was there to help answer questions riders and trainers had about making the step up into Para Dressage with British Dressage, but it was made even more special for me when I was asked to present the prizes on Sunday.  It was such an honour to make the awards and I really enjoyed meeting the riders and congratulating them, the joy this sport brings is priceless.

I started my own journey back in the saddle with the RDA after I was diagnosed with trauma induced MS 10 years following an accident which saw me suffer a horrific head and facial injury when I was kicked in the face by a horse I was leading.  My riding days ended there until some 17 years later a Consultant suggested I should go back to riding as I was struggling to sit up unaided for long and he thought it would be good for my core strength.  That is when I met the Watershed RDA Team and Beans the wonder pony.  At first I cried each time when I got home, I was nervous when I rode and couldn’t last more than 10 minutes at a time, I had to have 2 walkers either side of me and someone leading Beans, very upsetting for someone who in a previous life had had horses at Grand Prix Dressage level and I was sad that I couldn’t see that I would ever get that back.

The Watershed Team were fantastic with me and we did everything at my pace and with humour and as the months went by I got stronger physically and could sit up unaided again (something I had struggled to do being reliant on sitting in my wheelchair or the sofa) and more confident until I was able to move from the steady neddy that was Beans and start to ride off of the lead rein and onto Connor who was a much sharper pony and a real character.  I started doing some video dressage tests with him and at the end of our first year together we won a silver medal in the RDA online National Championships 2015.  I then started riding with Avon RDA as they had a lovely horse called Whitty a nice little TB horse and we won several competitions together.  The Avon Team looked after me just like Watershed did and it all went so well I decided it was time to get my on horse and I was lucky to find the perfect horse Winnie (Gunstone’s Pride) who we nickname the Unicorn.

Winnie and I joined the British Dressage South West Para Dressage Team in January 2016, were we attend a monthly training session with FEI trainers and Judges, attended the Para Dressage Camp with the team GB coaches and were selected to represent the region at the Inter County Championships, where we were Reserve Champions.

We were then selected to represent England at the Home International held at Vale View, Melton Mowbray.  Winnie and I won all 4 of our tests and our team were 3rd, the highest placing they have ever achieved at this event.  I also won the top prize for the highest scoring rider of the weekend. Something I would repeat a year later and boost the team into 2nd place.

Together we won Gold at the Dressage Anywhere RDA National Championships riding for Watershed RDA, And we were Reserve Champions in the Freestyle Championships at the RDA Nationals 2016

In 2017 I applied for entry onto the BEF Talent Pathway (Team GB training platform) and have been selected, this leads onto the World Class Podium and we hope to be selected onto that level in July this year working towards a Paralympic Team place in Japan 2020 and beyond.

Winnie and I also won the British Dressage Bronze National Championships and the Silvers – hard to believe that we have become double National Champions in our first attempt, and last year we were Reserve Champions in the Gold finals.  Our success through the levels has also meant that we have now been selected to represent Great Britain on three occasions and it is a real honour to wear the Union flag. Becoming an International Para athlete was a dream when I started and to have achieved it in such a short time has been amazing.

Without Watershed RDA I would not have started on this journey with Winnie and I owe them so much.  I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to ride a Grand Prix test but I can still ride a quality horse and compete at the highest level.  In the early days of my diagnosis there were times when I would be at home for weeks at a time without venturing out in my wheelchair, some very dark days.  Now I drive a car independently with hand controls and ride Winnie 3/4 times a week with a competition most weeks too and I am back at Watershed coaching 3 other budding Dressage stars.  I also mentor riders from other parts of the Country and have been asked to help more RDA centres improve their Dressage, so I am really living the dream and proof that it is what you can do that counts.

When you are diagnosed with MS it is a very frightening thing, I left the Neurologists very unsure of what the future would hold.  Because of the head injury my diagnosis took over 10 years and I had to get a bit feisty with my local hospital and transfer myself to the care of Prof Scolding at Southmead, where I at least got the diagnosis I already knew would come, by that point we had missed the relapsing form and moved to progressive so no medication for me.  But, that meant I could move on and fight it (once I had got my head around it that is – which took a year or two).  The Professor has seen a real change in me and when I saw him in July he said he wished he could bottle what I have and give it to his patients as I breeze in on my scooter with such optimism and fun, I told him to get horse riding added to the treatment list but I am not sure how NICE would react to that.  I now really don’t worry about the future, I am back doing the sport I love supported by a new team with Para Coach and Trainer Leonie Brown and her fabulous team at Daneswood Dressage (Team Unicorn) and Winnie of course who really has changed my life.  I would recommend to anyone who has had the same diagnosis to have a trip to your local RDA centre – you may not have Paralympic ambitions like me but it is the best therapy you can get and I know you will love it too – just be prepared to smile and laugh a lot and perhaps shed a few tears of joy!!

Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

500 competitors, 1600 rosettes, countless tears of joy – and one elephant

RDA National Championships 13-15 July, Hartpury College, Gloucestershire

Over 500 competitors took part in this year’s RDA National Championships, a three-day event for disabled riders and carriage drivers. Featuring dressage, carriage driving, showing, vaulting, showjumping and RDA’s own event, the Countryside Challenge, the Championships is the biggest event of its kind in the world. Highlights of this year’s event included the first endurance ride, the introduction of Dressage Pairs and the first entry by an elephant – thanks to the creative genius of Penniwells RDA in the costume dressage freestyle to music!

The Championships, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, began as a dressage competition and now boasts seven main disciplines as well as Arts & Crafts, Best Turned Out and Horsecare & Knowledge. Over 100 of RDA’s 500 groups take part, with competitors travelling to Gloucestershire from as far away as Aberdeen and Omagh in hope of returning home as national champions.

“This was my first year as a competitor, although I’m also a volunteer so I could see life from both sides,” said Cass O’Brien, who is a rider with Unicorn Centre and RDA County Chair for North Yorkshire. “As a participant I was treated with a huge amount of respect, with lots of lovely comments from everyone, good luck wishes and well done’s after I’d done my test. I may have only come 7th but I felt as though I’d won the world cup! Not too bad for a worn out 65 year old!”

Another first timer was 13 year old Charlotte Roberts of Ynys Mon RDA. “One of my dreams was to ride at a National event in the same ring as Charlotte Dujardin, truly a dream come true. The Whole event was inspiring and we left really feeling it is what we can do that counts!”

Craig Harrison from The Foresters Horn RDA in Merseyside reflected: “An amazing weekend where I achieved a PB score in the Grade 3 Championship Test followed by a 3rd place in my freestyle. A massive thanks to all the volunteers and staff across the country, without whom this fantastic event wouldn’t be possible. Roll on next year and the 50th anniversary of RDA!”

Championships Chairman Anne Coney said: “This year’s Championships attracted more visitors than ever to witness the fantastic achievements of over 500 riders.  Volunteers from all over the country make this event happen and it is a privilege for me to be the Chairman.  The hot weather did not deter the enthusiasm – and the big smiles from the competitors and their supporters.”

Find all the results here

Get up to speed on the RDA National Championships:

  1. The RDA National Championships is the biggest event of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders and carriage drivers
  2. Paralympians including Sophie Christiansen, Sir Lee Pearson, Natasha Baker, Ricky Balshaw, Deb Criddle and Liz Stone all began their competitive careers at the Championships 
  3. This year over 500 competitors took part, with over 1600 rosettes presented over three days
  4. 102 RDA groups travelled to this year’s event. The furthest travelling from Garioch 490 miles away
  5. In recent years the Championships have welcomed VIP visitors HRH The Princess Royal, Carl Hester and Clare Balding
  6. Since 1994 the Championships has been hosted at Hartpury College. Their support over the weekend makes them one of the charity’s biggest and most loyal donors
  7. The Championships started as a dressage competition and now includes carriage driving, vaulting, showjumping, endurance, showing and countryside challenge
  8. Countryside Challenge is a unique event to RDA. Styled as a ‘walk in the countryside’ competitors are scored on their execution of a range of obstacles including the apple tree, the bridge, the gate, the post box and archway.
  9. The event is run by a team of over 160 volunteers – not counting the teams of volunteers who come to support their riders and drivers.
  10. The Championships has no age restrictions. Competitors as young as four and in their nineties have taken part
Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018

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