Emma-Jane Brown updates us on Riding for the Disabled
by Emma-Jane Brown
Disabled riders from across UK and Ireland are preparing to take part in the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) National Championships in July.
The event, the biggest of its kind, is being staged on July 14 and 15, will see hundreds of the very best riders in grassroots and world-class para-equestrianism, participate in a range of classes such as Dressage, Countryside Challenge, Vaulting, Musical Ride, Musical Drive, Horse Care & Knowledge, Arts & Crafts and Best Turned Out.
It is organised by the charity RDA, which provides horse riding and carriage driving through a network of 500 volunteer groups throughout the UK.
The two-day championships at Hartpury College, Gloucester, is seen as a springboard for the Paralympics, with many of the current Team GB riders having competed at the Championships, explained Doug Smith, National Championships chairman.
“It is always an exciting time to bring together the very best in each category and provide a platform for our riders to show just how much they can achieve,” he said.
“For many, it might be their first opportunity to take part in a national competition, while for others the Championships is part of a full calendar of national and international para-equestrian events. Once experienced, the Championships is never forgotten - by competitors and visitors alike - and we urge the public to come along and show their support for the UK’s para-equestrians.”
For the first time, the Championships will this year include a Carriage Driving competition and there will also be a carriage driving display on Saturday evening.
Following the success of last year’s event, Friday evening will see the return of the showjumping competition, featuring members of British Showjumping and RDA participants.
Entry to the RDA National Championships is free, but entries for showjumping and carriage driving are by invitation only. For more information about the Championships and Riding for the Disabled Association, visit www.rda.org.uk.