The Wooden Spoon RDA Equine Acquisition Project

Following the survey of Groups earlier this year, we know that RDA groups struggle to find suitable equines (horses and ponies) for our use. Too often we are offered animals that are elderly or unsuitable for RDA work. This situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has significantly increased demand for horses and also by the impact of Brexit restricting the import of horses from Ireland. This has decreased supply, increased prices and has also led to private transactions taking place very quickly and with little veterinary pre-purchase examining of the horse taking place, which under RDA Policy is mandatory at a minimum of two stage. Therefore, we are aware of over 150 groups (approx. 33%) with an urgent need for at least one horse.

The Opportunity
Wooden Spoon have offered 20 Grants of up to £1,000 to Groups to help towards the purchase of Equines. Therefore, we are asking Groups who wish to apply for this funding to do so via the following link

RDA UK will go through these applications and inform Groups of the outcome as soon as possible. Groups must complete the application (through Survey Monkey) by 5pm on Wednesday 15th September 2021.

Priority will be given to Groups who have the following:
• Who are/will be actively looking to purchase an Equine in the next 3 – 6 months.
• That are able to demonstrate that the remaining funds required to purchase, and vet pre-purchase examinations are already in place.
• Who have a clear budget and a plan is in place to add an additional equine to their herd.
• The purchase must be for an equine who contributes a significant amount of their time doing RDA activities.
• Can clearly demonstrate the difference the grant will make.

The Criteria
Please note that there are some specific criteria, of which you should be aware:

1. You must complete the application form in full and supply supporting documents, as appropriate.

2. We are unable to make grants to Groups where the reserves are more than 2 years running costs unless these can be justified e.g. for a specific large capital project (Contact details below for any queries).

3. Grants will not be made for more than £1,000.

4. Grants are to be used for the purchase of a new RDA equine (or the associated costs e.g. Vetting where agreed).

5. Grants will be ideally spent by 30th April 2022.

6. Each equine purchased with the grant, must pass a minimum 2* vetting examinations before being purchased by the Group.

7. The purchase must be for an equine who contributes a significant amount of their time doing RDA activities.

8. Grants will be made subject to the signing of our standard Grants Agreement (if you would like to see more information about this, please  let us know) and additional terms and conditions as provided by Wooden Spoon.

9. Where we make a grant, we may ask to use your Group or the funded project for publicity, to demonstrate the value of such funding.

10. Groups who received funding will be required to display a Wooden Spoon plaque and storyboard (supplied by Wooden Spoon) outlining Wooden Spoon’s origins and activities as well as hosting a Wooden Spoon visit. (More details will be provided in the Grants Agreement with co-ordination through RDA UK.)

11. Retrospective Grants cannot be made (we cannot pay for equines that have already been purchased).

12. Grants are only available to full member Groups of RDA. Transitional groups and Accessibility Mark centres are not eligible.

13. Groups who do not comply with all Governance Requirements for RDA Groups will not be awarded a Grant.

14. Successful RDA Groups must provide proof of purchase once the equine has been purchased.

15. Successful RDA groups must keep us up to date with the project and report back regularly including 6 months after receiving the Grant.

If you have any questions, please contact:


Page Last Updated: August 25, 2021