SEIB RDA Showing Success at National Championships
RDA Showing Success
The inaugural SEIB Search for a Star Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Showing Master Class was herald an enormous success, held at the RDA National Championships at Hartpury College on the 15th July. Nine riders volunteered as guinea pigs and each put in an excellent performance for the crowd that had gathered for this evening class.
The experienced judging team, consisting of Richard Ramsay, David Bartram, David Ingle and Chris Lawton, are all showing professionals and are well-known for judging the popular SEIB Search for a Star showing series. They enlightened the audience with a commentary throughout the class, explaining what they were looking for and what was required of each rider, offering advice and tips for the aspiring showing competitors.
The class is an extension of the SEIB Search for a Star series and took the form of a regular show class, with competitors expected to ride in walk and trot all together, followed by individual shows by each rider, demonstrating walk, trot and canter if appropriate. Riders then presented their horses for the conformation judge, and if appropriate, the horse was ridden by the ride judge.
“I was most impressed. In their individual shows they all really had a go”, said judge, Richard Ramsay. “We did not need them to canter, but they all wanted to show what they could do”.
Ed Bracher, Chief Executive of the RDA, was delighted with the event. “It is really brilliant. There is a natural fit with showing and our riders and there are possibilities for teaching what makes a good horse”, he said. “It opens more opportunities for disabled people to compete, particularly if they don’t want to do dressage or show jumping. This celebrates the relationship between horse and rider, which is key for RDA riders. It is really valuable”.
Katie Downing works in the RDA head office and came into the arena with bright pink saddle cloth and purple bandages on her lovely Fell, Waverhead Ted. “He was really not sure what was going on, but it was a bit of fun to show how not to turnout for a show class. I couldn’t wait to get back into my proper gear!” she laughed. “It was helpful to give the riders who have not done any showing a bit of confidence. All the riders have thoroughly enjoyed it and the horses were beautifully behaved. Hopefully this is something to build up and grow. I am really excited about it”.
Hannah Lloyd, who runs Kemberton Riding Stables where Brockton Court RDA are based, owns Big Alf who finished 6th with Diane Field. “It just shows how versatile showing can be for RDA. It has worked really well”, she said.
Anne Coney, Chairman of the RDA National Championships, said “We will support it. Fifteen years ago we just had dressage and handy pony. The RDA have introduced other things and now we have show jumping. It is about what the competitors want to do”.
The class is the brainchild of Nicolina MacKenzie, Marketing Manager of SEIB Insurance Brokers. “I have wanted to do this for a long time. I can see opportunities for it to grow, and also include in-hand showing. I was delighted that so many people wanted to take part today – we were only expecting 6 but as word spread more wanted to join in and it has been fantastic. Everyone had a smile”, she said. “We had some brilliant feedback too, with some good questions from the audience. There is so much scope to develop this and I am pleased that we can offer this opportunity for RDA riders to share the thrill and enjoyment of showing”.
There was huge applause as the final results were called, with lovely rosettes and sashes presented down the line. First place went to Imogen Dark riding Jimmy Jones for the Erme Valley RDA Group. “It was amazing. We will certainly try again”, said Imogen, who is partially sighted following an accident 5 years ago.
1st, Imogen Dark riding Jimmy Jones for Erme Valley RDA Group
2nd, Lucy Mae Bush, riding Rainbow for Wellow RDA Group
3rd, Vicky Howarth, riding Dun & Dusted, for Pendle RDA Group
4th, Madeline Stephens, riding Famous Frosty
5th, Annie Wordley riding Brackenbank Flash Harry, for West Lancashire RDA
6th, Diane Field riding Big Alf, for Brocton Court RDA Group, Shropshire
7th Simon Wylie, riding Clyngim Sion for Laurel View EC RDA, Northern Ireland Region
8th Fleur O’Donohue, Parkhill Simba, Lowlands RDA, West Midlands
9th, Katie Dunning, Waverhead Ted, Pathfinder and HC competitors.