• Ebony

September 2021

Well, as I write the plans for next term are well under way and riding for the disabled begins on September 6th. We are so excited!

There have been 11 new rider applications over the holidays, all needing to be slotted in where possible, and one person we had to disappoint because, sadly, as we do not do carriage driving any more. Then four more members of the public have offered to help with our rides which is brilliant. I’m looking forward to meeting you all.

Did anyone clock the Paralympics in Tokyo? Here’s where our team members started their riding careers:

The UK Paralympics Equestrian Team

• Sir Lee Pearson (Grade II) • Georgia Wilson (Grade II, started at Clwyd RDA) • Natasha Baker (Grade III, started at South Bucks RDA) • Sophie Wells (Grade V, established Papplewick RDA)

And not forgetting others from RDA beginnings:

• Michael Murphy (Grade I, started at Penniwells RDA, competing for Ireland) • Laurentia Tan (Grade I, rider at Diamond Centre RDA, competing for Singapore)

We feel very proud of these people. Congratulations to Lee, Natasha and Sophie for beating the Dutch team to Gold by the smallest ever margin: 0.656%. Phew. Just look at their faces. (with thanks to Horse and Hound magazine) Of course its congratulations to their horses too.

Sir Lee Pearson visited our Shelly Show a few years ago to demonstrate his dressage skills, I’m told it was very inspiring. Pity I couldn’t see him, there were too many spectators blocking my view.

I am so excited that my own riders are coming back. We shall have to be extremely careful to keep them Covid free in my room, lots of fresh air blowing through and my helpers in thermals I expect. Muscles will have weakened, and joints become stiff over the long absence of my physiotherapy so we shall start very gently and help the riders to regain their balance and suppleness. It’s going to be great.

Good luck with the start of term my friends and keep the virus firmly in its box. A safe September to you all.