Chairman's AGM Report 2023

Welcome to the 2023 Newbury RDA AGM

Generally, it has been another good year. Numbers of riders have increased on last year although we now have many more private riders than we had before. Winchcombe School wanted to be able to bring children back to us but sadly we are unable to accommodate them at present, mainly due to a lack of qualified coaches.

Lesley Thomas has done a wonderful job as our bookkeeper this year and we are ever thankful for her help. Her husband Tony also helps Danielle with any manual jobs that need doing around the yard every Monday, so we are very grateful to him too.

We are very much hoping to welcome one maybe two new Trustees. Lucy Atherton who has just finished her year as Prime Warden to the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. Whilst in this post Lucy met with many people involved with RDA and visited their headquarters so I know would be an extremely valuable member of our team should she decide to join. I have also approached Claire Rowe who is one of our volunteers. Claire has a Legal background so again would be a valuable asset to us. Hopefully we can then get the positions of School Liaison and Safe Guarding covered.

As always Danielle does a wonderful job looking after the yard and all the ponies. We very sadly lost the lovely mare Ellie in March to colic. This was such a shame as she did her job so well and was adored by everyone who met her. Catherine put forward an application with Sport England which once again amazingly resulted in a donation of just under £10,000 to go towards a new pony/ponies. We are yet to utilise this donation but have hopefully got some ponies coming to us on loan. At least we know the money is there if needed.

The Autumn Fair took place once again last September when for the first time we opened it for a preview evening the night before the main sale. This was pretty successful, but we hope for a greater attendance this year now that the word is out about it. We still made a handsome profit North of £15,000. Thanks to Becky Steljes’ hard work last year getting everything online it has been easier to put everything together this year.  The dates of this years Fair are Tuesday 19th September in the evening and all-day Wednesday 20th September.

As you will see from Jamie’s financial report Newbury RDA remains in a strong financial position. We have our final £10k donation coming in from BBC Children in Need this year and we received a small amount for The Good Exchange/Greenham for Maintenance. Jamie has the timings of when these amounts will hit our account.

As mentioned above Catherine Wilson was successful in gaining the Grant from Sport England. On 11th June we had the official opening of our fantastic new arena and we were really pleased that Jill Owen from the Greenham Trust was able to attend and see the arena in use when Maeve Norfolk and Seren Finlay gave a lovely demonstration. Newbury Weekly News also came and we got a super write up in their paper with many photos in the online version. Jill was so impressed with what she saw that day that she wanted to put Newbury RDA forward for the prestigious “Kings Award for Voluntary Services to Charity”. Once again we have had to make an application which has now been submitted but there is a lengthy protocol to follow now and we won’t know if we have been successful until next year. We feel very honoured to have been put forward none the less.

Hopefully we can continue to build on our increasing numbers (within reason). Having done no actual fund raising this year bar the Autumn Fair which is to come we need to get heads together for some fund raising ideas for 2024. I am hoping to be able to host a Golf Day at Huntercombe GC next summer.

I will now hand over to Jamie to present the accounts.

Clare Spencer, ChairmanNewbury Riding for the Disabled, Charity 1121113