South Downs Riding for the Disabled group, based at Bridge House Equestrian Centre, Slinfold celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. This was highlighted by a celebratory event in June for everyone.
Riders, volunteers and supporters of the group enjoyed a programme, which included professional equine displays, demonstrations by their own riders, afternoon tea and lots more.
One major and very exciting event during 2017 was the selection of one of the group’s riders, Amanda Worne, to feature in the popular BBC television programme DIY SOS.
Amanda suffered an horrific cycling accident in August 2015 on Bury Hill, West Sussex, which left her paralysed from the waist down, but this inspirational woman, aged 44 with four children, refused to allow this set-back to get her down.
In addition to other sports activities, in 2016 she started riding with the South Downs group and indeed took part in a dressage display at its anniversary celebrations.
Whilst the DIY SOS team were carrying out the work on Amanda and husband Vic’s home at Arundel, presenter Nick Knowles and the team came to Slinfold to film her riding. The episode featuring Amanda is due to go on air on January 4 2018 on BBC1 at
Despite her life changing injuries, Amanda now works part time at Stoke Mandeville hospital and has published a book, ‘The Sky Is Not The Limit’ under the name of Amanda Newton, published by John Blake Books, about her life during the first year after her accident.
The group’s final fundraising event of the year is a raffle of two return flights to New York, generously donated by Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. Tickets can be purchased direct from volunteers or online at: www.zaffo.com/riding-for-the-disabled.
The tickets are £5 each and the draw will take place on Thursday, January 11 2018. All profits will go to South Downs RDA group.
The group is always delighted to hear from any individuals or organisations that would be interested in becoming involved in their work, there are many ways in which people can help and further information can be found on the website at: www.southdownsrda.org.