Amazingly we are now nearly half way through the year with the Show Jumping competition and our Regional Championships Competition behind us, not to mention a brilliant display of carriage driving at Balmoral together with a colourful parade of groups with some wonderful banners. Thank you to everyone who contributed their time and energy to making these events possible, to our very generous anonymous sponsor who covers the cost of the Regional Qualifiers and the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society who have been so generous to us.
We also had two brilliant Countryside Challenge Training Courses delivered for us by Sue Mack, thank you to her and to Longstone and Laurel View groups who hosted these events. About thirty people attended so we now have lots of experts we can call on for advice.
We have had two days out in June, kindly organised for us by Julie Jordan- one at Castle Leslie and one at Mount Pleasant Trekking Centre- and are now looking forward to our Endurance Day at Downpatrick Racecourse at the end of June.
Also on the horizon is the National Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire in mid July. We wish all our competitors the best of luck- I hope the weather is kinder than last year and above all that they enjoy themselves.
Planning is underway for two coach training sessions in September at The Fort and Birr House (28th and 29th), more information will be sent out nearer the time, there will also be another two Safeguarding Courses at The Meadows and The Templeton on October 20th and 21st respectively. I am also hoping to arrange some Show Jumping training for coaches and judges sometime in the Autumn.
The region is in the process of appointing a new editor for our magazine, many thanks to Rebecca Kincade who undertook this role so successfully in recent years and brought the magazine to its current high standard. Best wishes to the new editor for taking on the role and don’t forget that the magazine is only as good as the material submitted by the groups and volunteers. This is an important way to raise your group’s profile within the Region and help with fundraising.
We are also seeking to appoint an Equine Advisor for the Region. The person should have a suitable qualification, (RDAC or equivalent) and have experience of looking after and training equines outside of RDA. If you know of anyone who might be suitable and willing please let me know.
I would like to wish everyone a very happy summer holidays, I look forward to meeting up with as many of you as possible during the autumn and in the meantime if there is anything I can do to help please let me know.
Regional Chairman RDA NI
(Riding For The Disabled Association, Northern Ireland)