Stratford RDA enjoys Warwickshire County Funday 2019 at new RDA National Training Centre

2 July 2019

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As the skies emptied over Warwickshire, we quite expected Nigel to arrive in an ark to collect our ponies!

At the venue Alfie, Diesel, Kiera and Marco were met by our team of very damp helpers (just getting from the car park to the indoor arena required a change of clothes!) and were soon tacked up, ready to take part in the Handy Rider classes.  Our star performer in the senior section was Chris, riding Alfie. He rode independently and showed good control to score 84% to win the class. In the led section Jo P and Lisa, both riding Kiera, concentrated well to score over 70% and come 1st and 2nd respectively.

In the junior section Harry rode Diesel, independently, with confidence and focus to produce a fluent round and scoring a magnificent 91% – our best score of the day and another winner!

Henry doesn’t ride Kiera regularly, but unphased he remembered his skills scoring 86%, in a very strong led class and coming equal 1st.

First timer Billy on Marco rose to the occasion, including a very impressive trot, to score 80% and gain a 4th rosette. A creditable debut performance.

Our ponies were all stars, behaving impeccably and completely oblivious to the rattling rain.

Wth the indoor arena being used for Handy Rider class, it meant there wasn’t space for the usual unmounted activities, but Charley the mechanical horse was a very popular substitute with all our riders. Henry thought he was Frankie Detorri and didn’t want to get off!

Harry and Jo P proved their knowledge of grooming and looking after ponies by taking part in the stable management quiz and coming 4th & 6th respectively.  Another massive achievement.

As well as those riding, Anna came along to support everyone and we were delighted to see Charlotte who had spent the week on work placement at Lowlands.  Chatting to Charlotte, it was clear she’d thoroughly enjoyed working with the horses and the girls on the yard, giving her a valuable insight into opportunities available with horses.

The day was rounded off with a picnic in the gallery and riders were presented with their rosettes. Chris received the Rosemary Stretch Memorial Award, presented by Rosemary’s son Gordon, for the best senior handy rider score. Very well-deserved recognition of Chris’s riding skills and also his ongoing personal commitment to riding.

Once again huge thanks to our amazing team of “can-do” helpers, for turning out on a horrible wet day and making it such a success for our riders. Alongside usual duties, everyone mucked in – moving equipment indoors, scribing, distributing rosettes, chaperoning riders to Charley, etc.-as someone said to me “your Stratford helpers all seem to know exactly what they’re doing!”  It was lovely to welcome along parents, personal assistants & supporters to share in the achievement and enjoyment of our riders, and also to experience the wonderful new facilities at RDA National Training Centre.  Another highly successful, happy day for ‘Team Stratford’. KA 29th June 2019

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