Last weekend saw another fantastically run event at the annual Riding for the Disabled (“RDA”) national championships.
This year was particularly special, because the RDA celebrates its 50th year of operation. Princess Anne, the RDA’s patron and long term supporter, was there in person to present some of the awards and provide an inspiring and thoughtful speech about the beginnings of the RDA and how the charity has grown into the extraordinary national success it has become.
We were treated to a parade of some of the members from each of the various groups from all across the UK, together with displays from some of the competitors in each of the disciplines, ranging from carriage driving and dressage to vaulting (acrobatics on horses!).
This was Kingsley Napley’s third year of sponsoring the health and safety team at the championships and we were invited to meet Princess Anne, to be thanked personally for our contribution. It is an honour to be part of such a wonderful charity, that provides so much for its members.
The championships really are the showcase for all that the RDA stands for; Teamwork, support, commitment and opportunity. Once again, we were humbled and captivated by the 500 or so competitors who, despite suffering from injuries and illnesses ranging from brain injuries at birth to loss of limb later in life, let nothing stand in their way as they performed in their chosen discipline over the weekend.
The riders and drivers were joined by 200 hardworking volunteers and 300 horses to make the championships run smoothly. Leather was polished, buckles were sparkling and not a grass stain could be seen. Even the horse’s hooves had a lick of hoof oil.
We would thoroughly recommend anyone to go and watch this spectacular event, run over 3 days at Hartpury University and College. You don’t need to be horsey to enjoy the events and there really is something for everyone.
As if that wasn’t enough to inspire you to get out there and give everything your all, please take the time to follow this link to review the RDA’s “50 faces” campaign.
“ To mark 50 years of challenging attitudes to disability, we asked 50 people from all over RDA to let us take their picture and tell their story. The resulting collection is a celebration of the brilliant, fearless and pioneering people who help to make us what we are today.”
About the author
Laura Sylvester is a Senior Associate in the Clinical Negligence Department. She has a broad range of expertise, with particular focus on brain injury claims relating to children with cerebral palsy.