Presentations and Father Christmas at the Group’s Christmas Party

12 December 2017

in Events, Sponsors & Supporters, The Latest News, The Riders, Volunteers

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With a food laden table and mulled wine and juice, riders and their families, volunteers past and present, sponsors and supporters gathered in a packed community centre for the Group’s Christmas party and to celebrate its 2017 achievements. We were joined by Chief Executive, Ed Bracher, who had come to present some of the many awards, and Communications Manager, Caroline Ward from RDA UK.  We were so pleased that BERYL SAINSBURY at 96 years young was also able to join us and see the achievements of the Group she started 49 years ago.

As the riders collected their award, Karen, our Group coach, asked each one what is their favourite thing whilst riding. Fi was quick to say ‘riding out’, which is something she has mastered this year to the delight of her mum, Pat, who thanked the team of helpers and the Group for giving Fi a lifeline.  Jules told us about her ‘fun’ with Keira at the National Championships and Harry told us it was ‘eating’!  Not his horse, we hope!  There were lots of smiles from their proud family and friends and each one was given a round of applause.  Awarding our volunteers was difficult this year, as we have had so many who have gone ‘over and above’, so we would like to thank them all for their commitment and dedication.  However, there were couple of surprised faces when the winners were announced for their awards which were very well deserved, with Karen’s, raising a loud cheer from the hall. Following the presentations, we welcomed a visit from Father Christmas, who came laden with presents for the riders. A truly lovely afternoon for ‘TEAM STRATFORD’, who are looking forward to celebrating its 50 year anniversary in 2018.

Here are the list of award winners:

Rider Awards

Tracey Perks award for ‘Endeavour & Consistently trying hard’ – Issy (Isabella) Whitehouse

Neil Hancock award for ‘very good progress’ – Leah Oldrey with a special rosette to Peter Colby

Mary Hughes award for ‘Fortitude & Perseverance’ – Jules ReedPresented by Mary

Heather Rhead award for ‘Confidence’ – Archie Parsons with special rosette to Charlotte SeagerPresented by Heather

Pauline Richards award for ‘Meeting the Challenge’– Fi Martin

Claudia Paul award for ‘Determination’ – Billy Humphreys

Claudia Paul award for being a ‘daredevil’ – Harry Jones

Jack Showjumping award for the highest mark overall at Qualifiers – Sasha Simonnet

Countryside Challenge award for the highest mark overall at Qualifiers or Fun Day – Sophie Lee with special rosette to Neil Cox

South award for the most improved adult rider – Lauren Mitchell

Liz Jackson award for the most improved junior rider – Louis Thomas with a special rosette to Arthur Duggan. Presented by Simon Jackson

Stratford RDA Achievement Award – Lewis Tandy – for his great results at his first ever time at the RDA National Championships – 3rd in the Countryside Challenge with a whopping score of 90.75%

Endeavour certificate for cantering on the Mechanical Horse – Holly Hopkins

Over the year the following riders have also achieved:

Endeavour Certificates with Fi awarded 2 and Sophie, Billy & Archie have each been awarded one

RDA Showjumping Level 1 proficiency awards have been achieved by – Charlotte, Jules, Lewis, Ellis, Sasha, Jack, Sophie

‘Getting Started’ Endurance 1 km certificates – Scarlet, Jess, Archie

‘Getting Started’ Endurance 2 km certificates – Fi, Peter, Sasha, Anna, Jules, Louis, Ellis, Lewis, Issy, Harry

Volunteer Awards

Boris award for always willing – Carolyn Ramsay

Young Volunteer award – Kate Maplethorpe

Over & Above Award – Karen Arnold – for an outstanding commitment to the Group, not only coaching, but taking care of the horses almost on a daily basis, vets visits, giving sessions at Lowlands because Badger is lame, organising the Staycation at a moment’s notice because Clwyd Riding holiday was cancelled to name but a few.


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