As the biggest event of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders and carriage drivers the Championships are a wonderful demonstration of the close teamwork and trust between participants, RDA volunteers and, of course, our extraordinary ponies.Pauline Roestenburg, RDA South East Region Chair
Riding for the Disabled South East Region is celebrating the success of its riders and drivers who brought back numerous prizes and rosettes from the RDA National Championships which were held in scorching temperatures at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire in mid-July.
Carriage Drivers from the Stella Hancock Group (Worplesdon, Surrey) set the bar high on the first day. Sisters Stacey and Gemma Tiley, both driving Eddie, dominated the Novice class with a win for Stacey and 3rd place for Gemma. Sandra Spinner, a winner at Intermediate level in 2019, took the top spot in the Open class driving the diminutive Mario – just 11.2 hands high.
“In the conobstacles the course was huge so I had to push Mario on to gain a good time against the bigger striding ponies” explained Sandra.
On Saturday the team of four young riders from East Park RDA (Newchapel, West Sussex) were all placed in the top five in their Countryside Challenge classes (Zoe Beer 3rd, Erin Hunt 4th, Tyler McTear and Oscar Jones 5th) while Epsom RDA’s Jon Sullivan was placed 12th in his highly competitive Dressage class.
The region also scored very well in the Arts & Crafts competition. Epsom’s Hannah Smith won the Junior Individual Collage class and took 2nd place in the Photography class. White Rocks Farm RDA (Sevenoaks, Kent) were particularly successful with Tabitha Payne & friends winning the Senior Group Paintings & Drawings class, Paige Mosley & friends taking 2nd in the Senior Group Collage class, Skye Scott-Belsham claiming 5th in the Senior Sculpture class and a 6th place for Leon Granger in the Senior Photography class.
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