09 August 2022National Office Update

Dear RDA UK volunteers and staff,

I hope some of you have been enjoying the Commonwealth Games this week as much as I have. It’s been a joy to watch countries from across the world come to Birmingham and compete in a fantastic display of para sport and non-disabled sport.


Holts Auctioneers Platinum Jubilee Clay Day (Fri 5 August)

We are delighted to have been chosen as Charity of the Event at the annual Holts Auctioneers Platinum Jubilee Clay Day, held on the Royal Sandringham Estate by gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. The proceeds from the event will be donated to RDA. During the day there will be a charity auction with some fabulous lots which you can view and bid online here: https://auctions.holtsauctioneers.com/asp/searchresults.asp?pg=1&ps=25&st=D&sale_no=CH0822  We would be very grateful if you could share this within your networks.

Changes to Safeguarding Training

We are currently making changes to how we run our safeguarding training, and this will affect everyone, albeit the changes in Scotland will be different to the rest of the UK. We hope that these changes will create a more robust training and a more efficient way for volunteers to access the training when they need it.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland Only

From September to December 2022, we are going to publish a full list of Zoom safeguarding courses available, and those needing it can book on directly through the events page on MyRDA on a date that suits them. This is not replacing in-person training at a live venue, and where requested we will still be able to set those up. The Zoom training counts as face-to-face and is valid for 3 years upon completion. Please note: Scotland will not be included in the trial at this point in time and should continue to organise their training through regional/national routes as usual.

Scotland Only

Whilst we run our BEF accredited Safeguarding For Equestrians training across the country, it has become clear that to improve the content we deliver and also make this course valid for use within other Scottish sporting organisations, we are now required to include SportScotland Module 1 as part of the training with attendees completing this first, before joining the tutor led sessions. Module 1 is accessed through a training portal named Brightspace. More information can be found on the Safeguarding page of MYRDA.

For any queries, please contact Laura Cartwright lcartwright@rda.org.uk


Leaving book for Caroline – Messages welcome

As you will know, Caroline Ward, our fantastic Director of Communications & Insight, will be leaving us in early September. We are putting together a book with messages, stories and pictures of her time at RDA, and lots more lovely sentiments. So, if you would like to send a message, story or picture to be put this book, please either email them to Brigitta Falcini on bfalcini@rda.org.uk or post them to me at: RDA, Lowlands Equestrian Centre, Old Warwick Road, Shrewely, CV35 7AX. Please can you get them to me by Friday 19th August.


Annual Report & Financial Statement 2022

The Annual Report & Financial Statement of RDA for 2022 is now available to view here under ‘documents’: https://www.rda.org.uk/charity-governance-trustees/


Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Opportunity Finder

DofE is a great way to attract new volunteers. DofE has an Opportunity Finder service in which Approved Activity Providers can list themselves as an option for individuals undertaking the award. If your Group would like to advertise for DofE volunteers on there, please fill out the form here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/d-of-e-opportunity-finder-form/ and send back to Faye McKenning on fmckenning@rda.org.uk.
If you have any questions, please contact Faye directly.
Virtual National Championships entries still open!
Entries for the Virtual National Championships are still open and will close on Friday 30th September. For all the information regarding the Virtual National Championships, please see here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/assets/Schedule-for-Virtual-National-Championships.pdf
Grade 7 Scoresheets and Rosettes
All scoresheets and rosettes have been posted to Groups. If a Group has not received these by next week, please direct them to Emma Bayliss on ebayliss@rda.org.uk
Championship Refunds
We are currently processing refunds for National Championships via Horse Monkey this week. Please ask Groups to bear with us whilst we work through this.
Horses4Health Grant supporting Tea With a Pony

We were delighted to have a great number of applications to the first round of the Horses4Health Grant, which was for supporting Tea With a Pony at our Groups. We are reviewing applications this week and will be in touch with the successful applicants next week. This is a fantastic opportunity and there will be future chances to apply for this Grant again if Groups in your Region are interested.

Best wishes,
Brigitta Falcini
Communications Coordinator
Riding for the Disabled Association

04 August 2022Holts Auctioneers Platinum Jubilee Clay Day.

Holts Auctioneers Platinum Jubilee Clay Day.


We are delighted that RDA has been chosen as charity of the event at the annual Holts Auctioneers Platinum Jubilee Clay Day.


The event is being held this Friday 5th August on the stunning Royal Sandringham Estate by gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.


RDA Chair, Rachel Medill MBE will be attending along with our fundraising team and will be speaking at the lunch, prior to the charity auction.  


The charity auction contains many fabulous lots which you can view and bid online here:


 Amongst the varied selection of auction lots, one of which is a guided tour of the Royal Studs, Sandringham, kindly donated by Her Majesty The Queen, you will find some that have been generously donated by RDA Corporate Supporters including:


The Purple People Eater – a hand-signed giclée on paper by Sir Billy Connolly, CBE – kindly donated by Castle Fine Arts.
A pair of original or lightweight Posh Muckerz® coveralls – kindly donated by Posh Muckerz®
A gun fitting session kindly donated by Holland & Holland.

 The proceeds from the fabulous event will be donated to RDA.

20 July 2022The Wonders of Walk

The Paces: Part 1 - The Wonders of Walk

In the first part of this series of blogs about paces we highlight the biomechanical effects and benefits of walk and share tips on how to observe and assess different qualities in the walk.


Horses Inside Out The Paces Part 1 - The Wonders of Walk


20 July 2022National Office Update

National Office Update

Dear RDA UK volunteers and staff,

What a great National Championships, followed by a very, very hot few days! If you made it to the Championships this year, thank you for coming and I hope you had a great time. As a first-time experience of the Championships myself, I found it very special to attend and really enjoyed it. I also hope you all managed to stay relatively cool in the extraordinary heat yesterday and Monday.


RDA National Championships

We just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who dedicated their time to helping out at the Championships. You helped make it a great success.

If you want to catch up on all the news from the Championships and view the results, you can do so here: https://www.rda.org.uk/news/. Results can also be found on MyRDA.

Don’t forget, riders can view and buy photos of themselves competing from Michael Martin’s website here: https://www.michaelmartin.co.uk/photos/events-2022/rda-championships-2022/


Job Vacancy: Training & Education Co-ordinator, RDA UK

The role is to organise training and continued professional development for the coaching workforce within RDA, supporting the RDA UK Training and Education Objectives in line with our strategy; providing support for the rest of the Training and Education team, volunteers and mentor groups with a continual emphasis on delivery of service and the need to increase the capacity of RDA to work with more participants.

Find out more and apply here: https://www.rda.org.uk/join-the-rda-uk-team/

Deadline for applications is 5pm 28th July 2022.


BETA Lorinery (Bits and Bitting) Course – Wednesday 10 August 9:15am – 4pm

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) are hosting a Lorinery (Bits and Bitting) Course via Zoom on the Wednesday 10 August.

For more information, please click here to download the timetable and outline.

Book your place here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-JK6IIPOus7ieUm_Kjd91yqm2NhyRWNVW6v8YL7HR6wy1Gw/viewform


Best wishes,


Brigitta Falcini

Communications Coordinator

Riding for the Disabled Association

01926 405964



13 July 2022National Office Update

Dear RDA UK volunteers and staff,

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the Championships this week. As you may know, yesterday we announced we would be suspending Sunday’s competitions due to predicted extreme temperatures and an amber weather warning. This is very sad news for those competing on Sunday and I’d like to extend my sympathies to them. If you or anyone else have any queries or concerns following the announcement, please emailinfo@rda.org.uk and we will deal with it as soon as we can. More information on Sunday’s suspension can be found here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/national-championships/

Please note: the National Office will be closed during the Championships (Fri 15 – Mon 18 July). 


Horses 4 Health grant for Tea With a Pony

Thanks to the support of Horse World and their fundraising activity Horses 4 Health, we are able to offer RDA Groups the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £250 to either start offering or continue to develop their Tea with a Pony sessions. This is a great opportunity for Groups, particularly those that may need some help getting started with Tea With a Pony sessions, so please spread the word to your Groups about this grant.

In order to apply, applicants must fill out the grant application form, found at the bottom of the page here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/tea-with-a-pony/Application forms should be returned via email to Lucy Wake at lwake@rda.org.uk by Wednesday 27th July. If Groups are unsuccessful in this round, they can reapply in September when the second round of the grant will be open.


Congratulations to Erme Valley RDA – Winners of the SEIB RDA Centre of the Year Award

We’d like to extend our congratulations to Erme Valley RDA, who won the award for RDA Centre of the Year in the SEIB Yard of the Year Awards 2022. Congratulations also to Penniwells RDA for being Highly Commended in the same category.

Coaches needed for Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of The Game Fair 

RDA will be attending The Game Fair (29-31 July) at Ragley Hall, Alcester, and we are taking Charley, our mechanical horse. We need some coaches on the Saturday and Sunday to help run rides on Charley at the event. If you would like to volunteer for this, please email Georgia Tolley atgtolley@rda.org.uk.


Reminder: Weekly Newsletter Survey

At the onset of lockdown, we started sending weekly, operational emails on Wednesdays to RDA UK volunteers and staff, to keep you up to date with important or time-critical information. Now, two years on, we want to make sure that this weekly email is still useful in helping you with your role as an RDA UK volunteer or staff member. We have created this survey and would greatly appreciate if you could fill it out. It should only take around 5 minutes. Your responses will help us plan the future of our communication to groups and regions.

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6J57C9H


New ‘Contact Us’ page on MyRDA website

We now have a Contact Us page on the MyRDA website, which has replaced the ‘Meet the Team’ page. We hope this will better help you find the right person at the National Office for your needs. 

View the page here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/contact-us/


UK Coaching Awards 2022 – Nominations Open

UK Coaching Awards 2022 are now open for nominations for UK Coaching. It would be great to see some our amazing RDA coaches recognised in these awards. If you would like to nominate someone, please head to their website here to see the categories and criteria and nominations: https://www.ukcoaching.org/events/our-awards/criteria

Nominations close on the 12th September.


Best wishes,


Brigitta Falcini

Communications Coordinator

Riding for the Disabled Association

02 June 2022National Office Update


One Day Workshop on Sensory Awareness in the Equine Setting (Monday 13 June)

Come and join Rhona Harkness, Occupational Therapist, on a one-day workshop where she will introduce you to her new sensory resources to support with the facilitation of therapy and/or coaching sessions in the equine setting.

To book a place please follow the link:  https://www.myrda.org.uk/events/sensory-awareness-in-the-equine-setting/

RDA Showing Classes

In addition to the SEIB Search 4 a Star class that we hold at the RDA National Championships, we are delighted to also be offering three RDA Showing classes. These are direct entry with no need to qualify. All entries can be done on Horse Monkey (https://horsemonkey.com/). The new classes will consist of:

·       Ridden horses/ponies led (walk & trot)

·       Ridden horses/ponies unled (walk & trot)

·       Ridden horses/ponies unled (walk, trot & canter)

For more info on RDA Showing please go to our website: https://www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/showing/


National Championships merchandise now available!

Wainwrights now have the National Championship merchandise up on their website. They will also have a trade stand at the Championships where you will be able to buy their merchandise.

Purchase yours now here: https://www.wainwrightscreenprint.co.uk/rda-championships-merchandise-128-c.asp

Update from Michael Martin Photography on the National Championships

Michael Martin Photography, our official photographers for the National Championships, have said that in light of COVID-19, they will not be bringing viewing screens and advise you bring a smart tablet or phone to view and order photos. More information can be found here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/assets/Michael-Martin-Photography.pdf

Coaching Conference 2022 - Sunday 2nd October – Monday 3rd October

This year’s coaching conference is coming back as a two-day, face to face event!

On the Sunday afternoon/evening we will be utilising the conference facilities at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YR, with inspirational speakers and workshops. On Monday, we move to The RDA National Training Centre for some practical sessions and demos.

Please put the date in your diary as invites and booking details will be launched soon, when all the speakers have been confirmed. There will be the option to attend either of the days or both.

V4V survey – Europe’s first ever volunteer survey of sport organisations.

The V4V Project has launched a first-of-its-kind survey which aims to take a deeper look into the volunteer workforce that supports sport organisations across Europe. Follow the link for the full story: https://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/volunteering/be-a-part-of-europes-first-ever-volunteer-sur

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V4V_Sport_Volunteering_Survey_2022

10% Discount for RDA groups at Sportsmark

Sportsmark are kindly offering RDA groups a 10% discount on their website. At the checkout, enter ‘RDA10UK’ to receive 10% off your order. Shop here: www.sportsmark.co.uk


Best wishes,


Brigitta Falcini

Communications Coordinator

Riding for the Disabled Association


Many congratulations to everyone who took part in this year's RQ.  It was a fantastic day with many happy, smiling people.  A huge thank you to the organising team under the direction of Dhileas Lukas.  They did a brilliant job which ensured that the day ran smoothly at a new venue.  Thank you too to the team from East Fife & Scooniehill for once again organising the Countryside Challenge, and to Ravelrig and Muirfield Groups for supporting us at short-notice with the catering.  A final thank you to everyone who came along to be Stewards, Writers, Tack-Checkers, Runners and helpers who made the day the success it was.
Class 1 - Introduction to Dressage Walk - Junior 
1st - Ellen W, The Drum - 64.7%
2nd - Lily K, The Drum - 64.4%
Class 1 - Introduction to Dressage Walk - Senior
1st - James S, Borders - 65.6%
Class 3 - Introduction to Dressage Walk & Trot - Junior
1st - Cameron C, Muirfield - 70.3%
2nd - Fletcher D, Muirfield - 69%
3rd - Ian D, Muirfield - 67.5%
4th - Poppy S, Muirfield - 65.6%
5th - Eilidh L, Muirfield - 65%
6th - Phoebe W, Tweeddale - 61.3%
7th - Seth S, Tweeddale - 57.5%
Class 3 - Introduction to Dressage Walk & Trot - Senior
1st - Kirsty H, Muirfield - 73.8%  
Winner of the Val Brown Trophy for highest scoring competitor in a non qualifier test and Horses Head for being the Best Turned Out Senior
2nd - Hannah G, Muirfield - 71.3%
3rd - David A, Muirfield - 70%
4th - Rebecca G, Muirfield - 64.7%
Class 6 - Grade 1 Freestyle to Music - Senior
1st - Margaret L, Borders - 75.3% (Q)
Class 21 - Grade 6 Walk & Trot - Senior
1st - Sheila B, Ravelrig - 69.4% (Q)
Class 24 - Introduction to Dressage Walk & Trot - Junior
1st - Jo McK, Tweeddale - 70% (Q)
2nd - Reann H, Ravelrig - 63% (Q)
3rd - Kirsty W, Tweeddale - 61.5%
Class 25 - Grade 1 - Senior
1st - Margaret L, Borders - 73.3% (Q)
Class 26 - Grade 2 - Senior
1st - Pamela J, Ravelrig - 75.5% (Q)
Class 26 - Grade 2 - Junior
1st - Millie S, Equipower (W&C Region) - 77.1% (Q)
Winner of the Mark Headen Trophy for the highest scoring competitor in a qualifier test and Hestavinir Cup for the Best Turned Our Junior.
Class 28 - Grade 6 Walk Only - Senior
1st - Rachel E, Ravelrig - 61.8% (Q)
Class 31 - Introduction to Dressage Walk Only - Junior
1st - Kelsey F, Borders - 70.5% (Q)
Class 31 - Introduction to Dressage Walk Only - Senior
1st - Otilia B, Ravelrig - 70.2% (Q)
2nd- Calum L, Ravelrig - 59.8%
1st - Ethan L, The Drum - 82.5
2nd - Lily K, The Drum - 82
3rd - Ellen W, The Drum - 80
1st - James S, Borders - 79
Rosettes will be sent out to both Groups!

Class 65 - Painting & Drawing, individual or group (up to 4 artists) - Junior

1st - Cameron C, Muirfield - 86 (Q)

2nd - Harrison G & Ian D, Muirfield

3rd - Ellie H, Tweeddale

Class 65 - Painting & Drawing, individual or group (of up to 4 artists) - Senior

1st - Lauren H, Berwickshire - 80 (Q)

2nd - Alisha D, Ravelrig

Class 66 - Collage, individual - Junior

1st - Seth S, Tweeddale - 70 (Q)


Class 67 - Collage, groups of up to 10 artists - Senior

1st - Amanda E, Oliver P & Billy C – Berwickshire - 92 (Q)

A collage of Rio which received the Best in Show Trophy


2nd - Group of 10 artists - Muirfield

3rd - Group of 8 artists - Berwickshire

Class 68 - Sculpture, individual or groups of up to 10 artists - Junior

1st – Melik C, Berwickshire - 77 (Q)

Class 68 - Sculpture, individual or groups of up to 10 artists - Senior

1st - Barbara B & Sheena P - Berwickshire - 91 (Q)

2nd - Alice R, Emily J & Jacob R - Berwickshire

Class 69. Photography, individual entry - Junior

1st - Seth S, Tweeddale - 75 (Q)

Class 69. Photography, individual entry - Senior

1st - Chris B, Berwickshire - 80 (Q)

As you can see from the results we had lots of successful entries with many scoring above the threshold (60.0% Dressage, 65% Arts & Crafts) to Qualify (Q) for the National Championships at Hartpury in July.  Entries close on Wednesday 8th June.  More details are available on MyRDA
under National Championships.

18 May 2022National Office Update

Dear RDA UK volunteers and staff,

This week is Dementia Action Week. This is a great opportunity to encourage groups to sign up for Tea with a Pony, and we already know of groups who are running their first sessions this week. Thanks for everything you are doing to help encourage and support this activity, which makes such a powerful impact on everyone who takes part. If groups would like more information or to sign up, please email Lucy on lwake@rda.org.uk

Read more about our plans for Dementia Action Week here: www.rda.org.uk/news_cpt/rda-marks-dementia-action-week-with-record-tea-with-a-pony-sessions/ 

Last Chance to win tickets to Finals Day at Polo in the Park, London (10-12 June)

Our Polo in the Park competition ends this Friday (20th May). If you haven’t entered, now is your chance!

Child’s Farm and Chesterton’s Polo in the Park are kindly offering RDA participants and volunteers the chance to win a pair of tickets to Finals Day (Sunday 12) at Polo in the Park, located in Hurlingham Park, London. There are 8 pairs of tickets available to be won. Details on how to enter can be found on the pinned post on RDA’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/RDANational 

Reminder: Co-op Grant opportunity – 3-29 May 2022

Our friends at Co-op are inviting local groups to apply to be a Co-op Local Cause. Successful applicants will receive a minimum of £1,000 and partner with Co-op for 12 months. To find out more visit https://causes.coop.co.uk or contact Clare Prysbet cprysbet@rda.org.uk. (Also, please do let us know if one of your groups is successful – we want to hear about your wins!)

Help RDA decorate our stand at Gardener’s World Live

RDA has some exciting plans for our stand Gardener’s World Live this year. We are asking participants and volunteers to decorate flowers to be put on display as a flower wall. This would be a fun non-ridden activity for participants at your RDA groups, especially for school groups or after-school clubs. 

We would love those taking part to decorate the flower templates in any way they’d like – colouring pens & pencils, paints, sticking things to them, felt, etc. Once decorated, we are asking for them to be posted to our National Office by Friday 10 June. 

All details, including the flower templates and where to send them, can be found here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/events/gardeners-world/ 

Share a Big Lunch 

Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and the Platinum Jubilee (Thursday 2 June) will soon be upon us, offering a great opportunity to organise a get together at groups. 

We already know of several groups which are celebrating around that week with a Big Lunch or similar events. For more information on running a Big Lunch, please see here: https://www.edenprojectcommunities.com/the-big-jubilee-lunch

If you - or a group in your area - is holding a Jubilee or Volunteers’ Week event I’d love to hear about it (bfalcini@rda.org.uk). 

30-day free digital access to April/May 2022 issue of Carriage Driving magazine

Carriage Driving magazine are kindly offering our members a 30-day free digital access to their April/May 2022 issue.

Simply enter your name and email address via this link to gain access here: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6861714/Carriage-Driving-RDA

Do you know someone with a vision impairment that can’t be corrected with glasses?

The RNIB wants to hear from those with a vision impairment unable to be corrected by glasses to help improve the lives of vision impaired people in the UK. The RNIB are running a telephone survey to help them understand what life is like living with a vision impairment.

To register interest in taking part, call 0800 009 6066 for free, or follow this link: https://forms.office.com/r/bR2pvbZXTK. All surveys are kept anonymous and confidential.

Best wishes,


Brigitta Falcini

Communications Coordinator

Riding for the Disabled Association

01926 405964


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