Riders to contest the RDA National Championships at Hartpury

  • The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) National Championships 2009 will once again be held at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire on the weekend of 11-12 July.

    Held in the current format since 2001, the competition, which features more than 400 competitors, has gone on to produce several Great Britain Paralympians including double gold medallist, Sophie Christiansen.

    Competitors can take part in three main disciplines, dressage, vaulting and the countryside challenge — a sort of obstacle course.

    And this year, the charity’s 40th anniversary, there will also be a display of Para-equestrian showjumping, which it’s hoped will become a Paralympic event in the future, and ab arts and crafts and horse care and knowledge competition.

    Sophie Christiansen said: “I first competed in the RDA National in 2001 when I was 13 years old, winning the grade 1 class and have never looked back. I am indebted to the RDA for providing me with opportunities to take those instincts that were awakened in childhood gymkanas to the very top.”

    Competitors are graded according to the severity of their disability.

    The RDA is expecting a record attendance this year.

    Chief executive, Ed Bracher, said: “Last year’s National Championships was the best we’ve had with our dedicated team of volunteers and extraordinary riders. This year’s will be even bigger and better.”

    There is no charge for admission but there will be fundraising events on both days.

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