Young riders sign off difficult year with fun competition

Happy to show off their ribbons at last month’s competition in Kihikihi are RDA riders Kylah-Rose La Roche, Ryan Marshall, Nixon van der Hulst and Elijah Parkes.

Young riders at Te Awamutu’s RDA Group showed what they had learned over the past year at a partly competitive, mostly fun riding competition held in Kihikihi late last month.

The November 24 joint Client/Riders Ribbon Day marked the first of two final riding days of the year. The event doubled as an all-important ‘thank-you’ luncheon for all the businesses, charity groups, individuals and others who have supported the Te Awamutu RDA Group with donations or sponsorship over the past two years.

Those who attended watched the riders go through their paces before joining for lunch in the club rooms.
Jeni Strang, president of the Te Awamutu RDA, thanked guests and RDA volunteers for their support, saying: “Without everyone’s help and the constant support from the Te Awamutu community, our group would not function.”

Head coach Rosalie Rea said the Ribbon Day provided an opportunity for riders to feel the excitement of a riding competition, where they compete with one another without the coaching riding lessons they would usually have.

“It shows the coaches and volunteers how they can cope, and lets them demonstrate what they have learned, retained and improved on,” she said.  “The excitement and pleasure the riders gain from these days is obvious for all involved.”

Rosalie said riders performed across three classes – class one for the most improved rider, class two was a timed obstacle course, and the third class was a fun team game. “This was a credit to all the riders involved in our RDA group, as they have only been attending for half the year, with the Covid-19 lockdowns affecting us not once, but twice.”

She said that despite the interruptions, 2020 had been a successful year, thanks largely due to her ‘amazing team’ of 40 volunteers.  The group caters for 40 riders over two days a week.

Rosalie said the group was on the lookout for new horses that would be suitable.  Anyone who can help is asked to contact her on 021 153 9395.

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