Whilst you’re wrapping up your last-minute Christmas presents, we wanted to wrap up this year with just a few RDA highlights.
Making a Positive Impact
Abdullah, an RDA participant, told us: “I initially started riding with the university team, but I felt out of my depth and uncomfortable as many of them were non-disabled riders, then I was told about RDA and found it a much more fun and relaxing environment. They’re all very understanding here, and I feel confident to talk about my condition. They respect my pace and support my needs.”
Charity of the Year at Badminton
Being the Charity of the Year for Badminton Horse Trials was never not going to be on our list! We had an amazing time at the event, raising awareness of the fantastic work we do. Attended by thousands each year, this was a great opportunity to talk about our work and raise funds that could support more projects and initiatives that help our disabled participants. At the end of the event, we raised an incredible £40,000!
Enriching Lives through Tea With a Pony
We couldn’t do our highlights of the year without mentioning this much-loved activity at RDA. Tea With a Pony offers an enriching experience for participants to have tea and cake followed by an opportunity to interact with an RDA pony. This activity is particularly popular with care homes and facilities supporting dementia patients. We are so delighted to say we now have over 50 RDA groups offering Tea With a Pony, with 27 of those signing up this year!
Return to the National Championships!
How could we not include returning to our National Championships after 3 years as one of our highlights of the year?! The long-awaited event brought smiles, laughter, hugs, tears and that family atmosphere we all look forward to feeling every year at the Championships. Hundreds of participants were able to either compete for the first time nationally or return to competing at the Championships, as well as meet and cheer on fellow participants and RDA groups.
Record Entries to RDA Virtuals!
Now an annual event, this year’s Virtual Championship’s saw record entries. The event offers the opportunity to compete nationally when circumstances mean they may not be able to compete in person. The live steam of the event spans over a weekend and is jam-packed with action and high-level competition.
RDA Welcomes New Chief Executive
This month, we rounded the year off by announcing the appointment of Kathryn England as our new Chief Executive. Kathryn will be joining RDA from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) London Zoo. Kathryn will join us from the 1st March 2023 and we are excited to have her on board!