Riding for the Disabled Association is holding the RDA National Championships from 14-16 July at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. With around 400 entries and over 80 classes, the three-day event is the largest of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders, carriage drivers, equestrian vaulters and showjumpers.
This year’s highlights include the SEIB RDA Search for a Star Showing competition, Costume Freestyle Dressage to Music, Showjumping, Carriage Driving and the ever-popular Equestrian Vaulting. Paralympic legend Anne Dunham OBE will be hosting an ‘audience with’ on Friday evening, talking about her remarkable career in Para-Dressage.
The National Championships is RDA’s flagship event, featuring dressage, vaulting, showjumping, carriage driving and showing as well as countryside challenge, arts & crafts and horse care & knowledge. With talent spotters on the lookout, the event has previously provided a springboard for Paralympians including Sophie Christiansen and Natasha Baker.
Achievement and therapy go hand in hand at RDA, and the National Championships is a chance for riders and carriage drivers of all ages to compete against people from around the UK. For many it will be their first time competing on a national stage – for others, the event marks a welcome return to Hartpury and a chance to catch up with old friends.
“With every year the standard of competition gets higher, the turn-out gets better and the whole event gets bigger,” says Championships Organiser Sarah Hadley. “But it always retains that family friendly feel and it’s like a big RDA reunion for many riders and volunteers. We are so grateful to Hartpury College for letting us use their fabulous facilities and now we just can’t wait to get started!”