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Lottery Success for Pendle Riding for the Disabled.

Pendle RDA Earlier this year, Pendle Riding for the Disabled Association was awarded a Lottery grant under the Millennium Awards for All scheme so that they could refurbish their outdoor sand school. "We were extremely excited when we were awarded the grant, because it is important for our members to be as safe as possible when they are riding" explained a spokesperson for Pendle RDA.

World class dressage rider Joanna Jackson performed the official opening of the school last Wednesday evening (30th August).

Following the cutting of the ribbon, Ms Jackson presented young disabled rider, Felicity Coulthard with the Michelle Hall Memorial Trophy as recognition to her recent achievements with her dressage riding. 15 year old Felicity who has cerebral palsy has represented Pendle and the Northwest for the past 2 years at the RDA National Dressage Championships. This year she was placed 1st in test 21a (a walk and trot test) and 2nd in the Grade 1 Kur (she co-wrote and recorded her music with Dad). Pendle RDA

Following the opening ceremony and presentations, Joanna spent the next 2 hours chatting with the numerous Pendle RDA members and their instructors as they were enjoying a glorious Lancashire evening with wine and cheese. "We would like to take this opportunity to thank Joanna for giving her time to open the school" said Laraine Knowles of Pendle RDA who went on to say that "the very fact that she has shown an interest in the group gives real credability to disabled riding".

General Information about the Pendle RDA Group.

Pendle RDA was set up in February 1977 with the aim of providing a range of riding opportunities for people living in the locality who experience diverse disabilities. Over recent years, we have built up membership that comes from a 20 miles radius.

Obviously membership is open to anyone who consider themselves as having a disability, but generally enquiries are either made direct to the Pendle group or through RDA Headquarters at Stoneleigh. New members are required to provide information from their GP about their disability and are then given an assessment to determine their riding ability and are then placed on suitable rides. All of our rides are lead by our specially trained instructors who also have recognised BHS qualifications, but in addition they receive on-going training which includes holding a current first aid certificate. Generally speaking our riding activities are as follows:

(1) Lead rein, group lessons - generally an activity of a therapeutic nature. Riders have a leader / side walker.
(2) 1-2-1 lessons - this can include hacking out or specific training for dressage competitions (3) Holidays - providing additional interest for individuals and short-term respite care for families.
(4) Annual fundraising show. As well as providing opportunities, as mentioned above, for many of our members riding is of a therapeutic nature as it helps them to develop their communication, co-ordination and gross motor skills. It also encourages them to occupy positions of responsibility within the group which in turn goes some way in improving the quality of their lives.
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