RDAI Events & Activities 2017
RDAI Present Awards at National Conference
The 2017 RDAI Wexford Insurances ‘Rider of the Year’ was presented to 12 year old, Lynn Frain from Mullingar at the 35th RDAI AGM and Conference held in Adare last week.
The Awards were presented by Irish international pentathlete Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe.
Speaking at the presentation, RDAI Field Officer, Roisin Henry said that Lynn was a worthy winner who had shown great ability, increased confidence and major progress since joining the Mullingar group only two years ago.
“Lynn attends the Presentation Senior school in Mullingar and has not missed a meeting with her Group in the two years since joining RDAI. Apart from the riding, she enjoys the social interaction, the fun and the joy that being part of one of our groups brings.
Niamh Hyland from Swords in Co. Dublin was presented with the runner-up Award.
Niamh who rides with the Kilronan RDAI group in Swords attends St. Michael’s school in Raheny.
During the conference, Redmills Long Service Awards were also presented to 14 volunteers and 4 ponies.
Delegates then listened to an inspirational and motivating talk by Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe, Goodwill Ambassador for RDAI, who spoke about his discipline, the modern pentathlon and his journey to both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics. Conference participants then went on to attend workshops on ‘The Role of the Group Secretary’, ‘Log Books for Instructors’ and ‘Welfare Officers for Groups’. In the afternoon, everyone was invited to attend an Equine Assisted Learning presentation in Clonshire Equestrian Centre and to visit the Co. Limerick Hunt Kennels.
The Dormant Account Sports Inclusion Fund, in conjunction with HSI , has given us the opportunity to put in place an innovative and comprehensive training programme for our volunteers.
As well as improving the experience of our riders, this training offers our volunteers continuous professional development, a step towards future qualifications and a very meaningful addition to their CV.
RDAI is extremely grateful to Sport Ireland for the funding to allow us to implement this programme, and to Horse Sport Ireland for supporting our application.
Broadmeadows is the first of our two day training sessions with prestigious coaches Sue Adams Wheeler HVLP, FRDA: Chair of Coaching at RDA UK and International, and Lynne Munro MSc, MCSP, RDAC, UKCC Level 2: Regional Physiotherapist RDA North Wales.
We look forward to taking this programme to six other venues around the country before the end of the year.
National Conference 2017
RDAI volunteers are looking forward to the 2017 National AGM/Conference on Tuesday 7th March next in Adare, Co. Limerick.
RDAI Events & Activities 2016
RDS July 2016
All ten riders who took part in the 2016 Trail Ride at the RDS Dublin Horse Show last Saturday 23rd July had a wonderful day, and put on a great display of their skills for the hundreds of spectators around Ring 2.
Mary Walsh, RDAI National Welfare Officer gave an excellent running commentary of the event, and received many compliments afterwards from onlookers who had watched the Trail Ride.
This year RDAI dedicated the Trail Ride to the memory of the late Tommy Brennan, the legendary Irish show jumper and event rider. Pat O’Loughlin, one of the co authors of the book “Tommy – a Pictorial Memoir of Tommy Brennan” presented rosettes to all the riders, and the “Friends of Tommy Brennan Memorial Book Fund” made a generous donation to RDAI which has been split between the groups who brought riders to the RDS, and will cover their costs for hire of ponies etc.
Following the ride, Elizabeth Gordon RDAI President made a small presentation to retiring members of the committee responsible for organising the RDS Trail Ride each year – Dara Kearney, Shirley and Dermot MacDermott, and Niamh Kingston. RDAI would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication, and we hope they will continue to work with their own groups for many more years to come.
Newbridge House June 2016
Ten enthusiastic riders, chosen from groups around the country, were put through their paces at the Flavour of Fingal event at Newbridge House on Saturday 25th June last.
This event was a rehearsal for the RDAI Display Ride at the Dublin Horse Show on Saturday 23rd July as reported above.
Many thanks to Brian Beggin and the Flavour of Fingal event organisers, and to all the RDAI volunteers who helped to make the day such a success.
Profiles of all the riders are on the RDAI Facebook page.
RDAI Present Awards at National Conference
Association holds joint-conference with RDA NI in Armagh
Our joint conference with RDA NI was a great success with over 250 volunteers from both sides of the border coming together in Armagh to share experiences of the progress, increased ability and confidence that children and adults with disabilities gain through the therapeutic benefits of horse riding.
During the day, we presented our Rider of the Year Award for 2016, sponsored by Wexford Insurances to Jamie Jones of the Calliaghstown RDAI Group in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin
Speaking after the presentation, Roisin Henry, Field Officer said that what struck the judges in reading Jamie’s entry was his ability to cope with the challenges in his life and how his lessons with the Calliaghstown RDAI group have become a very positive constant in his life.
“Jamie’s story really encapsulates everything that the RDAI stands for and strives to achieve. No matter how trying or difficult his personal life, no matter what challenges face him on a daily or weekly basis, Jamie always attends his weekly lesson with a smile on his face and with a bag of apples to feed the animals. Indeed even within the past few months, he has had a number of big challenges in his life, including moving to a new house, getting to know the new staff and dealing with new work and programme commitments, yet no matter what his frustrations are, his mood lightens and improves when he knows he is going to join his friends at his lesson.”
In addition to the main Award, a runner-up Award was also presented to 17 year old Sean Mack O’Meara from the Kilronan RDAI Group in Swords, Co. Dublin
According to his mother, Susan, Sean’s confidence has improved and he is now more relaxed around all animals both big and small since first attending the Kilronan RDAI Group.
“When Sean told me that he was starting horse riding I was a bit scared for him because he had never seen a big animal up close except for the ones in the zoo. At first he was a bit apprehensive, but the more time he spent with the ponies the more he came to trust them and the more relaxed he became. Then, from being scared he progressed to totally enjoying himself.”
We also recognised 11 volunteers and 13 ponies with Long Service Awards.
A great line up of speakers included Eric Smiley, (Fellow of the British Horse Society, International Eventer and Coach) and Jenny Espiner (speaking on Supporting People with Autism Spectrum Disorder). Workshops included sessions on Adapting your Language; Using Good Communication to Reach your Goals; Local Fundraising, and People and Potential.
A very successful event and we’re already planning for next year!
RDAI Events & Activities in 2015
National Ploughing Championships
RDAI volunteers were delighted that so many people visited our stand over the three days of the National Ploughing Championships. Thank you to everyone who stopped to chat and bought our Christmas cards and notelets.
RDAI Riders Display Skills at Dublin Horse Show
Seven riders ranging in ages from 7 to 41 displayed their skills at a Trail Ride at the RDS Horse Show on Saturday, 8th August last in front of a large crowd of family, friends and supporters. In addition, Carriage Drivers from the RDAI took part in the Carriage Parade in the Main Arena on Sunday, 9th August last before competing in a showing class later that day. A fantastic and enjoyable weekend was had by all our riders, carriage drivers and volunteers at the world renowned Dublin Horse Show and all our riders and carriage drivers showed great determination and dedication showcasing their talents at the event.
The seven riders participating in the Trail Ride were:
- Isabel Greville and Robert Strutynski both from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
- Eoin Hayden from Kilcoole, Co Wicklow
- Norman McClean from Lisburn, Co. Antrim
- Brian White from Rathkeale, Co. Limerick
- Orla Houlihan from Navan and Luke O’Daly from Kilmessan both from Co. Meath
On Saturday 27th June last, seven excited riders from Mullingar, Navan, Kells, Limerick, south Dublin and Northern Ireland took part in a practice ride at Newbridge House in north county Dublin, and all qualified to ride at the upcoming RDAI Display Ride at the Dublin Horse Show on Saturday 8th August next. Each of the riders were beautifully turned out (see photographs above) and after completing the course watched by their families and many spectators, they were presented with Rosettes by Brian Beggan, Joint Master of the Fingal Harriers Hunt and organiser of the equine part of the Flavour of Fingal event.
RDAI would like to thank the organising committee of the Flavour of Fingal event at Newbridge House for making us feel so welcome.
2015 RDAI Display Ride at the RDS
Our chosen riders are busy practising for the upcoming Display Ride at the RDS which will be held on Saturday, 8th August next so please come along to support them on this wonderful day out.
The 2015 AGM / National Conference
Our Annual General Meeting and National Conference was held this year in the beautiful surrounds of the Minella Hotel in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary with close to 200 RDAI volunteers attending. The meeting was a fantastic success with a tour of Coolmore Stud proving to be one of the many highlights of the day. Delegates also enjoyed informative and enlightening presentations by Irish Paralympian rider, Eilish Byrne and Aoife Quinn, Physiotherapist with the Central Remedial Clinic.
During the AGM, a number of presentations were made including our annual Awards for the Rider / Carriage Driver of the Year with this year’s winner being unveiled as John Lawlor a member of our Clane Group in Kildare. In addition to the main Award, three runner-up Awards were also presented to:
12 year old Stephanie Dodrill from Blanchardstown, Dublin
Liam McSweeney from Raheny in Dublin
15 year old Glenn Kenny from Delgany in Co. Wicklow
In addition, we also recognised the tremendous dedication of 22 of our volunteers and 13 ponies with Long Service Awards.
Maureen Ryan of our Thurles group was the lucky winner of a voucher kindly sponsored by Dubarry to recognise the work of our volunteers.
We would also like to thank our sponsors including Wexford Insurances, Connolly’s RED MILLS, Dubarry and Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesalers.
RDAI Display Ride Video from the RDS in August 2014
Our President meeting the Queen.
Our President, Elizabeth Gordon had the great honour of being presented to Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in March 2014, at a reception to mark President Michael D. Higgins’ state visit to Britain. It was very fitting that Elizabeth was chosen to attend the reception in recognition of her commitment and dedication to the RDAI.
Below are some of the upcoming competitions /events scheduled for 2015 !
The 2015 AGM / National Conference was held in the Hotel Minella in Clonmel, Co Tipperary on 21st April 2015.
Rider of the Year 2017