ALMOST 200 people turned out to celebrate the various achievements of the Yorkshire and Cleveland Riding for the Disabled Association members at an event in Skipton.

Despite poor weather, almost 200 riders, volunteers, supporters and families from 17 different RDA groups gathered for the celebration event at The Rendezvous Hotel.

Groups came from as far afield as Stokesley, Bedale and York, as well as from Otley, Leeds, Bradford and Bingley.

Recently elected regional chairman, John Chuter, and Sam Orde, chairman of RDA National, made many long service awards to both volunteers and horses. Rosettes were also presented to many riders and supporters.

The Maggie Tansley Trophy, being presented for the first time and in memory of the regional chairman, who died last year, was won by Tommy Hill of Snydale RDA, Pontefract, along with a bursary for the group.

The Riverside Group, Bingley, won the draw and will be receiving a made to measure saddle from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

The raffle was a roaring success and together with donations, £660 was raised towards regional funds.

Judy Olby, of the Otley and District RDA, which meets once a week at Draughton Heights riding centre, received a long service certificate for her 30 years with the RDA. Judy was originally involved as a teacher of deaf and blind children, before becoming a member, a trustee, then chairman and coach at the Otley group.

She is also a former regional chairman, and runs holidays for the RDA every year.

Jacky Murfin received her 25 year certificate and was described as a loyal, well organised volunteer who enters into everything RDA – a treasure to the group

Jan Wheelock received her 25 year certificate. Jan has been involved for many years with the Otley group as trustee and committee member, and recently stepped down as county chairman of West Yorks RDA.

Peter Olby received recognition for his 30 years as a participant with RDA. His riding began as a therapy and now riding horses, the mechanical horse and carriage driving plays a big part in his life.

Kathryn Wheelock has been a participant with RDA for 25 years – at first as a rider and for 10 years as a valued volunteer – she is very competent around the horses and is happy to turn her hand to any job.

Over the years, she has enjoyed numerous successes. In 2017 she became the first winner of the SEIB Search for a Star RDA National Showing Championship.

Jan Wheelock, who organised the event, said she was ‘blown away by the response from the region’.

“What I thought would be a small event turned into a fabulous day. I would like to thank everyone who helped in any way - a good time was had by all.”