RDA Challenge Day

RDA Challenge Day

RDA Challenge Day


Riders representing RDA groups from across the South East braved the torrential rain last week to participate in their annual Challenge Day, sponsored by Sussex’s Cowan Architects. Young riders came from across East and West Sussex, Kent and Surrey to display their riding skills in a range of activities including the Countryside Challenge, which was a qualifying event for the RDA National Championships in Hartpury, Gloucestershire in July.

Most of the riders had come to go head-to-head in the Countryside Challenge, but there was also a dressage competition, Handy Pony, a number of gymkhana games. Julia Hockin of Cowan Architects, came to present the prizes and Michelle Foreman of Forelock Books, which specialises in pony story collectables for young pony mad readers, supported with prizes.

The Countryside Challenge follows a simulated course where the riders put their skills to the test by tackling obstacles and tasks they might find in the country. These include going through a gate, crossing a ‘road’, entering a farmyard, picking an apple from a tree and collecting eggs from a chicken! Although great fun, this also tests their steering, balance and confidence.

East Sussex’s East Park group from Lingfield, swept the board in the Junior’s with four qualifiers for this year.

Fairlight Hall RDA from Hastings, also enjoyed particular success with Becky Wallis winning the Senior Countryside Challenge and qualifying for Hartpury and Daniel Burford winning the non-qualifying class.

Maddie O’Connor and Beanie Drew, both from Cobbes Meadow, Canterbury, were winners in the dressage.

Local company, Forelock Books, which specialises in pony story collectables for young pony mad readers, donated prizes this year for the junior classes.

Julia Hockin of sponsors Cowan Architects said

“It’s always such a treat and an honour to participate in these inspiring events and meet such enthusiastic young people. Despite the atrocious weather, there were smiles all round”