RDA enjoying a busy number of months

Rider Lucy Best with Banbridge group organiser Shirley Lee at Downpatrick Races.
Rider Lucy Best with Banbridge group organiser Shirley Lee at Downpatrick Races.

RDA are enjoying a busy time at the moment

In October, riders who had participated in the ILDRA/RDA endurance class at Downpatrick racecourse in April, returned to the venue for a day at the races courtesy of manager Richard Lyttle.

A day at the Downpatrick Races

A day at the Downpatrick Races

The riders thoroughly enjoyed watching the excitement before the races and seeing the jockeys spring up onto their mounts.

The thrill of the actual race and also the noise of the hooves as the horses galloped past brought smiles to the faces and there were plenty of cheers when someone’s favourite came past the winning post first.

Of course RDA organisers didn’t teach their participants to follow the form and place bets. Now when RDA jockeys watch racing on TV, it will bring back memories of a good day out!

The NI Region is delighted to have six newly qualified RDA coaches in their ranks. Christine Hankin (Coleraine), Gwen Garrett (Omagh), Toni Aliouane (Newtownards), Barbara Lunny (Enniskillen) and Joanne Morton and Debbie McKenna (both Longstone) all passed their exam in November and this can only be of great benefit to the riders.

Successful RDAC candidates.

Successful RDAC candidates.

RDA are always interested to improve the service that they give to their participants and would love to hear from any one who can help them in any way.

Training in Proficiency Test examining and Safeguarding have also kept them busy.

RDA has a very interesting and progressive education programme that has something for everyone

Participants can progress through grades from 1-4, followed by the bronze silver and gold awards- the latter are few and far between as the standard is so high.

The ASDAN scheme links RDA to the school curriculum and can be adapted at any level for different abilities.

The newly launched Endeavour awards are proving very popular and can be for any participant who achieves something worth celebrating- this can be anything from getting onto the pony for the first time, to trotting a few strides, or completing a round of show jumping.

At the moment the RDA are keen to recruit new volunteers who would be able to give up some time to help with weekly sessions, or horse owners who would be willing to loan their horse/pony for these riding lessons.

If you would be interested in hearing more about this occasion or about your local groups experiences, require images or more background information please do not hesitate to contact: Julie Jordan, chairman,rdaniregion@yahoo.co.uk.