Many thanks to those who joined in to make our Carol Service an afternoon to remember. The indoor school was lit with the flickering light of candles and the notes of familiar carols provided by the Senior Wind Band from The Chiltern Academy. Rev. Roger Royle brought the Christmas story alive with the help of riders, helpers and trustees from SBRDA.

The ponies played their part too, with Forrester, Anya and Libby keeping the children company as they built up a Nativity Tableau. The service was brought to a conclusion with a visit from Father Christmas, mince pies and mulled wine.

Celebratory Year

This May, the group will celebrate 50 years of providing riding to disabled people. Originally the group was known as the Berks and Bucks RDA. It was run from East Burnham Park (now a garden centre). The group moved to Mill House Farm when East Burnham Park was sold in the early 1970’s.

South Bucks RDA has seen many riders and helpers come and go. It has a world wide reputation. The group has nurtured several European, World and Olympic Champions.

To help celebrate the 50 years we plan to hold a family BBQ and open afternoon for helpers, riders and their families. Please keep your eyes on the notice boards to find out what is happening.

Coaching Success

Theresa Drake, voluntary instructor and Trustee at South Bucks RDA, obtained her UKCC level 3 coaching certificates in Equestrian Riding and Principles of Sport. Theresa instructs on Saturdays and Tuesdays. She also supports at county level. Her final assessment was at Clwyd, Wales on a very wet cold day in November. This is a nationally recognized senior level of coaching.

Regional Show Qualifiers

This year the Regional Show on 17th May will be held at a different venue, Wellington Riding, near Basingstoke. We have hosted the show at South Bucks for 10 years and the Regional Committee decided that another venue would now be appropriate. This means that we will have to hire a lorry and travel the horses and ponies. It also means that the volunteers will have to be up even earlier than usual to get the horses ready. We will not be able to have so many horses and ponies competing at the show as last year, as we are limited to the size of horse transport we can hire. To help decide who will go forward to compete at the Regional Show we will hold qualifiers for the Countryside Challenge on 14th and 15th March. Those riders who want to be considered for a dressage place need to contact Richard, the stable manager directly.

Our Group Qualifiers will be held during normal class times, over the 14th and 15th March and, as in previous years, this will be held as a league, with places in each class and then the riders with the highest percentages will be put forward to compete at the show on Sunday 17th May. Good luck to all.