Weekly news 14 January

Welcome to three new Regional Chairs: In Great London – Paul Turner; Celia McMorran in Northern Ireland and in West & Central Scotland Dominic Ind. Thank you and welcome to you all.

Thanks also to the outgoing Chairs: Julie Frazer (NI), Mike Locke (GL) and Kate Bennet (W&CS) for everything you have done to support your regions and the wider RDA community while in post.

Remember we still have a vacancy for a Regional Chair in the South West. Email Faye at fmckenning@rda.org.uk for details. 

Emergency grants to groups and other funding options

We are pleased to be launching today a third round of grants to provide support through the pandemic.  We have made the process as straightforward as possible, but please read the instructions carefully before applying.  You can apply for a grant for financial hardship; or for a grant to help your group restart (when possible) or adapt to broaden services and benefit more people.  The closing date is 29th January.

All information and the application form can be found here:  


A useful list of other funding and financial support information can be found at: https://learn.sportenglandclubmatters.com/mod/page/view.php?id=670

National Championships

It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to review the possibility of running a face-to-face National Championships at Hartpury this year. If you had sight of yesterday’s email to RDA UK volunteers, you will see this is an overnight change to what we said then. I’m sorry if this causes any confusion but please consider today’s email to be our most up to date position.

Originally, our policy was to continue to plan as if there was to be a physical Championships and review it at the time that we would be required to commit any resource to the event.  However, it is clear that the most recent lockdown and the possibility of restrictions continuing for some time means that there will be potential difficulties running regional qualifiers, not to mention the issues that riders will face trying to train for the event.  We are therefore going to review the plan and will make a firm decision in the next week or so.  

I realise this will be a further frustration and disappointment to many people, but I hope you will understand that we need to proceed with caution and also take into consideration how the current restrictions are likely to affect things.

Virtual Championships

Whether or not the face-to-face Championships goes ahead, we will be running a virtual National Championships in September. This will hopefully enable more people to take part and allow us to run classes which otherwise might not have taken place at all this year.

We will confirm our position on the National Championships and provide details about the virtual event as soon as possible.

Sad loss of two RDA ‘stalwarts’

It is with sadness that we report the deaths of Carolyn Walker MCSP from the South West Region, and Jane Matthews from Mid-West.

Carolyn was a long-standing, dedicated RDA supporter and CPTRH member who held many roles over the years, notably as a Chartered Physiotherapist providing support and advice to RDA groups. We will miss Carolyn’s professional caring attitude, her great sense of humour and her love of travel to HETI conferences.

Jane was a great stalwart of RDA in Wiltshire, having in the past held positions such as County Chairman, Chairman of Lackham RDA and latterly Wansdyke Driving Group to name but a few of her roles. She was a tireless fundraiser and driving force for RDA right up until she became unwell, and will be sadly missed.

With thanks to Lynne Munro and Rachel Vaughan-Johns.

Vacancy for RDA UK Chair

A reminder that we are recruiting for a new Chair for RDA UK. Don’t hide your light under a bushel! RDA is full of talented, experienced people who would be ideally placed to bring their knowledge of RDA and leadership skills to our national board. Click the link below for more details, or call Chief Executive Ed Bracher for an informal chat (or if you have someone you would like to recommend).


Free NAF garlic supplements

NAF (the feed manufacturer) is offering RDA groups in mainland England, Wales and Scotland free 500g and 10kg tubs of its garlic feed supplement (now discontinued so not to be sold on, but sealed and in date).

Interested groups should fill out the form at the link below. The details will be sent on to NAF for them to allocate supplies, based on the number of horses and how much they have in stock. This is on a first come, first served basis and we can’t guarantee your group will receive some.

Offer closes 22 January. Apply online at:


Any questions email Helen at hkallow@rda.org.uk

Horsefest – exclusive ticket offer for RDA members and volunteers

HorseFest is a new, three day festival for horse fans, taking place from July 23 to 25. Visit www.horsefest.org for all the details.

Early bird tickets are on sale now while available or until 28 February. Thanks to the team at HorseFest, we have secured a further discount for RDA members and volunteers with 10% off any Adult, Young Person, Child or Family entry ticket. Just use the code HORSEFESTRDA10 at the checkout on the website.

More information about HorseFest and this exclusive offer at MyRDA here: myrda.org.uk/exclusive-horsefest-ticket-offer-for-rda-members/

Page Last Updated: January 28, 2021