A STRONG contingent of riders of all ages travelled from across the South West to compete in the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Regional Dressage competition held at Lakefield Riding Centre, near Camelford.
With coveted tickets up for grabs to the RDA National Championships which take place at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire in July, the dressage and countryside challenge qualifiers were hotly contested.
Another highlight was the presence of Olympic torch bearer and RDA volunteer, Peggy Douglas MBE, who thrilled the gathering by making an appearance during the prize giving wearing her official tracksuit and carrying the torch.
Peggy had carried the Olympic torch through her home town of Brixton, in recognition of her unstinting service to the Erme Valley Riding for the Disabled Group (RDA), her work with MENCAP and the Plymouth Deaf Society together with the support she gives to her deaf son Jamie.
"At the end of the day this is what it's for," said Peggy, surrounded by the excited RDA members."
Eleven-year-old Amber Gallop of St Stephens, was one of the many RDA members who went away thrilled to qualify for the Hartpury finals.
The North Cornwall member booked her passage to Hartpury riding Rudi and her achievement was made extra special when Peggy handed the Churchtown Primary School pupil the Olympic torch. "There are not many sports available to Amber," explained her mother Sally. "She suffers from cerebral palsy and the RDA opens a door for her. Amber's been a member of the North Cornwall Group for three years and always looks forward to her lessons on Saturdays with Mark Cunliffe and Becky Monk at Lakefield.
"We will be counting the days to the Hartpury championships and I'm sure Amber will be working extra hard with Mark and Becky preparing for a good performance."
South West RDA regional chairman Sue Ingleby said: "I'd like to congratulate all our competitors and particularly thank Mark (Cunliffe) and Becky (Monk) and their team at Lakefield for hosting such a marvellous day. I'd also like to thank all the RDA volunteers for their continued support as without their help none of this would be possible."
For more information on volunteering for the North Cornwall RDA Group visit rdanorthcornwallgroup.co.uk
The British Driving Society Jubilee three-day show (June 30-July 2) at Cargoll Crossroads, St Newlyn East, is sure to prove a memorable event for competitors, driving enthusiasts and spectators.
The bumper programme starts on Saturday June 30 and offers showing classes for traditional vehicles including the popular Concours d'Elegance. The schedule continues on Sunday (July 1) with exercise vehicles and this three-day driving extravaganza climaxes with a long road drive to St Enoder on Monday (July 2) stopping for lunch before returning to St Newlyn East.
"There will also be shorter road drives on both Saturday and Sunday," explained co-organiser Dolly Scott.
"Jane Brightwell is our BDS judge."
For further information call Dolly on 01637 830347.
Diary dates, see Digest, Page 107.