Chairman's Report to the AGM held on 12 September 2017

Chairman's Report to the AGM held on 12 September 2017

Chairman's Report

This year we have had Castle School classes on Monday morning and afternoon, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. This is a total number of 44 riders riding each week. Roses (Rosemary Parfitt) from Castle School and Ursula Codrington have worked hard to keep the classes full. They have a great enthusiasm for riding for which we are extremely grateful. They quickly regroup and reorganise these riders to keep them coming to their lessons.

We are also lucky to have a Priors Court Class on Tuesday morning, Theale Green Primary School class on Wednesday and Winchcombe Junior School class of riders on Friday afternoon. Sunday morning has a class of private riders.

We have an increasing number of private riders coming at various times before and after other school classes. They are cleverly organised by Cassilda Courtier-Dutton to fill spaces we never knew we had and reduce our very long waiting list. The Sunday class now has back riding which gives the more disabled rider a chance to sit on a horse in front of a physiotherapist. At the moment, the Physio is Elspeth Mc Donnell from South Region. It is incredible to see the riders’ enjoyment and progress, hopefully to become an independent rider. Thank you Cassilda for working so hard organising these lessons and Elspeth for coming from Guilford each week to take the back riding and Amanda Cooke for extending this class.

When I returned to be a trustee of NRDA in June 2016 I didn’t envisage becoming interim chairman in December. It is with great sadness Jo Prater, Carol Steljes and Nicola Markham resigned. We miss them all very much as trustees. However, it was good to return to NRDA to find all classes running well and the Coaches and Class organisers very much in charge of the daily running of their classes.

In May, the Thursday class won a 5th prize as characters from Alice in Wonderland in the Fancy dress competition at Windsor Horse Show. It’s always tense getting everyone dressed up and into the ring and you all did so well. Thank you to Ursula and all the Thursday morning class for working so hard and producing wonderful costumes.

The South Region Show was on 4th June. We had 5 entries for dressage and Countryside Challenge. The riders, Chloe, Sam, Luke, Layna and Isabelle all did very well and won many rosettes. Huge thanks to those who took them to the event, to Jenny Whiteman and Jane Allen who spent considerable time training the riders and to the Coaches and helpers who went to the event.

Two of the riders went on to the RDA National Championships at Hartpury College. They were entered for the Countryside Challenge. They both did extremely well. Chloe won 1st prize in her class and had the Championship trophy for the best overall score and Sam came fifth in his class. Thank you to all involved with this. I think i also have to thank the rider’s parents for all their involvement in these events. It makes it all possible. Also thank you to our Stable Manager, Cathy Edwards who turns the ponies out for the events and daily so beautifully and looks after them so well.

Those that went to the Tracker Training day came away so enthusiastic that some classes have already done 2 terms of Tracker assessments and the riders have received their end of year result rosettes. We will be continuing with this into 2018. Well done to Lindsay Morris who has worked hard to get this up and running and discovering the changes we may need to make to reach our goals, hopefully some of these will be implemented this term. Also, we need to thanks Lindsay for setting up the face book page for Newbury RDA and I hope some of you have had time to use it. We look forward to your ideas. I personally think we should keep it as impersonal as possible. We need to highlight what we do without exposing our riders and helpers individually.

Jane Rowe has worked away with Matthew Lett on the website and between them it has been modernised and kept up to date. Thank you both for all the constant work! We managed to balance the book last year with all your hard work running fundraising events. Running these events is never easy and always exhausting so thank you all however small a part you played. From the tack sale to 2 days of making tea at the Truck Festival ‘thank you’. I must particularly mention the NRDA Fair committee because it makes so much towards the annual running cost. We are all extremely grateful for all their hard work and commitment to this fun event. We look forward to the Fair on the 28th September. We must say a huge thank you to all our Volunteers, all the coaches, class organisers and helpers. They are vital to the smooth running of the stables and safety of our riders. We cannot thank them enough for the time they spend working for Newbury RDA. As we start this autumn term there are many things in the pipe line for you all to look out for especially the rearranging of classes. Castle School has had a big move round. Winchcombe Primary school has left and potentially two new classes of riders are starting. Some classes have only one coach so we hope to train some new coaches. There will be training days for helpers and coaches. All of this is exciting and will need energy and enthusiasm.