All of our 28 groups are now back in full swing preparing for our busy season! Lots of training and competitions lie ahead, with several of our riders setting their sights on qualifying for the National Championships at Hartpury in July.
In March Lynne Munroe ACPTR, a physiotherapist from Shropshire, is coming over to remind us of the therapeutic benefits of riding and carriage driving and to help us maximise each participants’ experience with RDA. On April 9 we will be holding our first ever Show jumping competition. Show jumping is one of our newer activities in RDA and riders have been practising for several months hoping for a clear round on the big day! Endurance riding is the latest addition to RDA and we will be displaying our talents at Downpatrick Racecourse on April 26th.
Dressage has been performed by RDA riders for years and they train very hard for our Regional Championships in the summer term. This year John Robinson has agreed to travel over from England for some final tuition for both our riders and judges. The Countryside Challenge obstacle course is always a favourite and the riders will have a chance to qualify for Hartpury at our Regional Championships on April 30th . Balmoral Show is on opportunity for us to display our skills to the wider public and this year we are hoping to include both riders and carriage drivers in our display! Two summer “days out” are planned for June- let’s hope for summer weather for our trips to Laurelview in Templepatrick and Castle Leslie in Co Monaghan!
None of this would be possible without the dedication and commitment of our 1000 volunteers in Northern Ireland who enable our participants to take part in our activities. While my MBE in the New Year’s Honours List was a huge personal honour for me, I am fully aware that RDA is a Team and it takes all of us to “keep the show on the road!”
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.