Posted on September 9th, 2019

Stars of sport and broadcasting gather for 50th anniversary RDA awards

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a star-studded awards evening, recognising the outstanding achievements of riders, volunteers and horses. Host Clare Balding will be joined by ITN news anchor and journalist Alastair Stewart; motor racing legend Damon Hill; W Series’ British racing driver Alice Powell and celebrity auctioneer Philip Serrell for a night of celebration and fundraising.

Each year the RDA Gala Awards celebrates the achievements of its riders and carriage drivers, and the outstanding contribution made by its volunteers and horses. In this milestone year for RDA, the 2019 awards will be extra special. As RDA celebrates 50 years as a leader in disability sport, Damon Hill will be joining Alastair Stewart on stage to talk about the vital role sport can play in shaping lives.

“I’m delighted to be attending the RDA Gala Awards evening,” says 1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill. “It’s a fantastic charity that currently enhances the lives of more than 25,000 disabled adults and children, so I’m really looking forward to finding out more about it and to meeting some of the people with and for whom it does so much excellent work.”

Alice Powell, a star of W Series, the new single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers only and the winner of the W Series ‘Brand Finale’ race at Brands Hatch, Kent, in August, adds: “As someone who thrives on high-speed competition, I’m inspired and impressed by the work that RDA does for disabled people, harnessing – literally – the athleticism of horses in order to add mobility and empowerment to thousands of disabled people’s lives. I’m really looking forward to attending the RDA Gala Awards evening therefore.”

“The RDA Gala Awards is always an emotional and thought-provoking evening,” says long time RDA supporter Clare Balding, whose latest book, The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance, features a disabled girl who rebuilds her life through riding. “This year’s event will be a great opportunity, not just to celebrate everyone involved today, but also to reflect on the many thousands of people who have benefited over the years – and to the volunteers and horses who have given so much.”

RDA is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through horse riding and carriage driving and today supports over 25,000 children and adults all over the UK. Awards will be presented to the RDA Rider of the Year, Volunteer and Young Volunteer of the Year, and RDA Horse of the Year.

The RDA Gala Awards 2019 is on 2nd October at Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DQ. Tickets and more information from Sal Atkinson, The awards are kindly supported by Childs Farm, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Snuggy Hoods.

Posted on September 3rd, 2019

Bransby Horses is Given The British Horse Society Stamp of Approval

This year, Equine rescue and rehabilitation charity, Bransby Horses, has received The British Horse Society (BHS) Accreditation. On Tuesday 27th August, BHS Business Development Manager, Sarah Dale, and BHS Changing Lives Through Horses Manager, Phillippa Founds, visited the 600-acre charity site in Lincolnshire to congratulate the team.

BHS Approval represents the highest standards of training, horse welfare, customer care and safety. Approved centres are expected to maintain these at all times. To achieve this status, sites must apply for the assessment, with supporting evidence, undergo a site inspection, including a review of equine training practices and a number of interviews are conducted. After the initial inspection, further annual inspections are carried out to check high standards are being maintained and the centre can retain the BHS approval.

Bransby Horses was graded by BHS as part of their BHS Approved Centres scheme earlier this year after rigorous assessments. The equine charity which rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes equines across the UK, passed in all areas of the accreditation assessment. The charity even achieved ‘Highly Commended’ in the Horse Welfare, Retraining, Customer Care, Grassland Management and Working Procedures categories.

Rachel Jenkinson, Farm Manager at Bransby Horses said:

“We are thrilled with this achievement and this approval from The British Horse Society. It takes a big team of passionate and knowledgeable people to run this amazing charity and whilst seeing rescued equines have a second chance at life is a reward in itself, having this approval shows we are transparent in our working practices and also achieve the highest standards of care for our equines, staff and visitors. We are all incredibly proud of the work that we do and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us and donated their time and energy over the years – we couldn’t have done this without you!”

In addition, Bransby Horses Farm Manager, Rachel Jenkinson with some of the riding team (and happy horses Mushu, Blueberry, Sooty and Honour) proudly received an Approved Retraining Centre plaque to place on their Riding Barn. This recognition has come just a few months after the entire site achieved BHS Accreditation.

The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and equestrian routes, and safety for horse and riders. It currently has more than 109,000 members, making it the largest equine membership organisation in the United Kingdom. It is one of the 19 organisations which form part of the British Equestrian Federation. The BHS is the largest equestrian charity in the UK, helping equestrian businesses by providing them with the highest standards of excellence and health and safety requirements to adhere to.

Bransby Horses is dedicated to rescuing and improving the lives of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules across the UK. With public support, the charity is working harder than ever to continue making positive differences to equines whenever they can. Founded in 1968 by Mr Peter Hunt, Bransby Horses is now one of the UK’s largest equine welfare charities, currently caring for almost 1,000 animals (more than 400 on site and more than 500 in foster homes).


Photo: Bransby Horses farm Manager Rachel Jenkinson accepts the BHS Approved Retraining Centre plaque from Sarah Dale, BHS with Honour