Most of the twenty eight RDA groups in NI are now enjoying a well earned break after another busy year. Our two new disciplines of show jumping and endurance were hugely successful and the numbers involved in both are expected to increase next year. Balmoral Show was once again a great day out and a wonderful opportunity for our participants to take part in Northern Ireland’s most prestigious agricultural event. This year our drivers performed after the riders had displayed their talents. The finale of the season was two lovely days out to Castle Leslie and Laurelview Equestrian Centre where our riders had the opportunity of riding through open countryside and beautiful parkland- not to mention the lake at Castle Leslie! The visit in May by our President HRH The Princess Royal was the highlight of the year for Banbridge and Moira Group- the twenty fifth Birthday celebrations will be talked about for a long time to come!
Eighteen of our riders have qualified for the RDA National Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. Representatives form Omagh, Colearine and Newtownards excelled at the NI qualifiers held at the Meadows Equestrian Centre in May and will be travelling to England in July. The National Championships are the RDA’s flagship event bringing together hundreds of athletes in events including, Dressage, Countryside Challenge, Vaulting, Carriage driving and Show jumping. We also have several entries for the Arts and Crafts section, which have an equine theme! We wish all the contestants well and look forward to hearing of their success.
Planning is already on going for the 2014/15 season, which promises to as busy as usual! A fundraising golf day is planned for Friday 19th September. We have been delighted with the response from both players and sponsors and only have a few places left for dinner that evening! All we now need is a sunny day!!
If anyone would like to become involved with RDA either as participant, volunteer or sponsor, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
Julie Jordan MBE
Regional Chairman RDA NI
RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher, HRH the Princess Royal, RDANI Regional Chairperson Julie Jordan MBE and RDA Chairperson Sam Orde at the Northern Ireland Regional Conference in March 2013.