This year, The RDA Virtual National Championships sees 402 entries from 63 RDA Groups across the UK competing in a total of 81 classes.
A packed schedule on both days covers a huge variety of competitions including dressage, vaulting, musical rides, carriage driving, the countryside challenge, showing and showjumping with live commentary by dressage rider, Lauren O’Hagan and presenter Rosie Russell. These two hard working commentators will be joined by Sky Sports Racing Presenter and Howden Racing Ambassador, Vanessa Ryle.
Georgia Halliwell-Paget, from the Cavalier Centre Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Group will be building on her success at the National Championships, by competing in the Virtual National Championship dressage class on Saturday.
Georgia, who has had a major operation on her leg this year, was determined to be fit enough to ride at the Championships.
“For me, RDA is freedom”
“It’s a place where I can do something that I love, a sport that’s right for me. RDA is a sport everyone can do and enjoy”.
Now in its third year, the RDA Virtual National Championships will be running on Saturday 18th November and Sunday 19th November and will be shown live on Facebook (facebook.com/RDANational) and on the RDA YouTube channel.
”The RDA Virtual National Championships is one of the biggest and most accessible equestrian events in the world and offers an opportunity to compete at a national level, from the familiarity of a home setting, whilst cheered on by a global online audience!”
says RDA Head of Communications and Insight, Lisa Davies.
“The determination and skills of the competitors are truly inspiring and embody the ‘can do’ ethos of RDA. We’re very proud of them”.
Young Fletcher Duke from Muirfield Riding Therapy has already qualified for the British Para Dressage competition at the National Championships on a borrowed horse and has added to his success by coming in the top three in the qualifying rounds of the Virtual National Championships in three separate dressage and showjumping classes on three different horses.
RDA’s sponsors play an essential role in the Virtual National Championships and support this year comes from long term supporters without whom, the event could not take place.
Dodson & Horrell have supported RDA for the past eight years by donating merchandise and by sponsoring carriage driving and dressage at both the National Championships and the Virtual Championships.
Red Gorilla are in their sixth year of support for RDA and continue to sponsor the carriage driving as well as sponsoring “Jackson” a popular horse at the RDA National Training Centre.
Kingsley Napley are experts in medical negligence and serious injury law specialising in medical negligence claims for children with Cerebral Palsy. Alongside their pioneering work in obtaining funding for horse related therapies, they sponsor RDA’s Countryside Challenge event.
Childs Farm manufactures skin care products specifically for children with sensitive skin and have supported RDA for several years via sponsorship of the vaulting discipline at both the National Championships and the Virtual Championships.
Long term RDA advocate Oliver Wight LLP has been supporting RDA for thirteen years, not just via sponsorship of the showing, show jumping and musical drive competitions but also by financing the upkeep of paddocks at the RDA National Training Centre and the sponsorship of one of the RDA ponies at the Centre.
RDA UK Corporate Partnerships Manager, Yvie Pickup recognises the role that sponsor play.
“We are immensely grateful to all our sponsors who continue to show us incredible commitment. Our very special thanks must also go to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their continued support. Without this the Virtual National Championship would not be possible”.
Messages of good luck have been recorded by a distinguished list of equestrian celebrities including Clare Balding, Carl Hester, Jenny Rudall, Sophie Christiansen and This Esme.
The RDA Virtual National Championships will be live on Facebook (facebook.com/RDANational) and on RDA’s Youtube channel www.youtube.com/@RDANational from 10:00 am Saturday 18th November. The final class is 16:30 Sunday 19th November.
Feature image: RDA Groups from North Midlands Region. Photo credit Nigel Kirby Photography