RICHMOND and Catterick Riding for the Disabled (RDA) marked its 50th anniversary on Saturday, September 11 with a celebration event held at the Catterick Garrison Saddle Club.

The many invited guests present were able to watch six disabled riders showcase their abilities, as well as the fun they have through riding. One leader, who is training to be a volunteer, also participated in every activity.

There was a dressage lesson with coach Angie Staples, a countryside challenge with some of the obstacles similar to those encountered at the national championships, with coach Sheri Wild in charge and a gymkhana with all riders taking part.

Chairman, David Summers welcomed Countess Peel, one of the deputy lieutenants for North Yorkshire, and all the guests.

As Lady Peel is involved in charity work, both nationally and locally, and had ridden for many years, she was keen to speak to the riders and volunteers during the afternoon to find out more about them and the horses, and she cut the 50th anniversary cake, especially made by a volunteer.

She also read out a message from HRH The Princess Royal, the President of the RDA. Her final task was to present rosettes to all the present and past riders.

During the break, Lindsey-Anne Murfin of NFU Mutual North Riding presented a cheque that will be used to purchase a pony for Richmond & Catterick RDA.

Sheri Wild, one of the coaches, was presented with a special award by Lady Peel, for her exceptional work. She paid testament to the volunteers without whom the weekly sessions would not be possible.

Sheri: said “We are all volunteers at Richmond & Catterick RDA. Even today, the wonderful refreshments were organised by volunteers. And our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme young volunteers were invaluable in helping to set up the riding activities, as well as traffic duties! We had displays on boards and around the indoor school, including some artwork by one of our riders – whose design also adorned the programme. The weather was kind to us, and the smiles of our disabled riders and volunteer team throughout said it all! And, of course, we always welcome new volunteers!”