Six local riders who train at Pegasus Riding for the Disabled Centre in Morpeth competed in the first ever virtual national RDA Championships and scooped some fantastic scores and top prizes.
The riders qualified to compete at the virtual event which enabled over 300 disabled competitors to take part from all over the UK. It was broadcast online with live commentary from Horse & Country TV’s Jenny Rudall.
The packed two-day programme featured 54 classes in dressage, carriage driving, show jumping, endurance, showing, musical ride & drive and vaulting as well as RDA favourites, the countryside challenge, arts & crafts and horse care & knowledge competitions.
Morpeth RDA qualifying riders Val Argent, Emme Ritson, Kaelin Fairgrieve, Freya Carr Wright, Lily Mae Henderson and William Dixon are coached throughout the year by Active Northumberland riding instructors. They had their entries filmed to submit for judging.
Freya Carr Wright became national champion with a fantastic 1st place in the Countryside Challange for the visually impaired with Kaelin Fairgreive just behind her in 2nd place.
William Dixon was in the ribbons coming 7th in the Junior Dressage, 7th in Show Jumping level 2 and 5th in Show Jumping level 3. He also came 7th in the Countryside Challenge (independent riding).
Valerie Argent came 8th in the Senior Dressage
Lily Mae Henderson came 6th in Show Jumping level 2
Emmie Ritson came 13th in the Countryside Challenge (with leader)
NCEA Castle School in Ashington came 1st in the Arts and Crafts class.
Michelle Macaulay, Chair of Morpeth RDA said:
“While we always enjoy the excitement of travelling down to Hartbury for the annual championships, this year’s event gave the riders the opportunity to film their competition entry on a familiar pony in a familiar arena.
“We had to build a course to simulate the championship level and video the riders completing the course of their chosen event. We also have a great team of volunteers who helped by leading and side-walking with the riders that needed extra support.
“I know how excited the riders were to be taking part and it was a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved. We were all incredibly proud at how well our riders, and horses performed.”
Active Northumberland manages leisure services across the county, including The Pegasus Centre in partnership with Morpeth Riding for the Disabled Group. This group is a registered charity that gives people with special needs and disabilities a chance to develop their abilities and enrich their lives through riding specially trained ponies.
Over 300 riders aged between 4 to 67 use the centre each week, travelling from all over the county and even Tyneside to attend.