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Dame Judi stars in East Park RDA fundraising video

January 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Dame Judi1

Last summer our patron Dame Judi Dench kindly agreed to be interviewed on camera for a fundraising video for East Park RDA. Dame Judi was filmed on a glorious sunny day in her back garden, and in addition to speaking about the benefits of riding sessions for the disabled children we support, she recited a poem about RDA. Since then over a period of months a film crew has been filming our riders and volunteers at various events, and the the two sets of footage have been edited to produce the final video which has now been launched on YouTube. It can be viewed by clicking on the play button in the picture on the right or the link below.  The poem is also available on YouTube via the link below.

We will soon have a donate now button on the YouTube channel, which will enable people who are interested in our work to easily support us. The video will also be used to send to potential sponsors and supporters and we hope people will indeed by generous.

Our thanks go to James Thorp of James Thorp productions, who spent many hours of his time making this video for us.

 East Park RDA Group with Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench recites poem for East Park RDA

New Website Launched

January 22, 2014 at 11:23 am

If you have found this post, you will know that we have launched our new website.  The address is the same, but it has a much more modern look, and is easy for us to update with news and events.  Our thanks go to Wardi Sanusi of neverbeige, who was kind enough to start the ball rolling, and then sort out all the technical bits that were beyond the limited knowledge of our amateur webmaster!  Wardi is a professional website builder and his site can be found at www.neverbeige.co.uk.

Father Christmas Visits East Park RDA

December 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm


At our December Fun Day, we had a surprise visit from Father Christmas, accompanied by an elf and one of the Lions from East Grinstead.  All the children enjoyed a short riding session and were then delighted to meet Father Christmas and his friends.  Our thanks go to East Grinstead Lions for arranging for Father Christmas to visit.

Dame Judi’s racehorse retires to Little Brook

November 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm



Dame Judi Dench has gifted her much loved racehorse, Smokey Oakey, to the owners of Little Brook Equestrian Centre in Surrey – home of East Park RDA, of which Dame Judi is Patron. 9 year old Smokey, who is also owned by Bryan Agar and trainer Mark Tompkins, will be retrained at Little Brook, where his new owners hope he might one day provide riding as therapy for RDA.

“Smokey is a very special horse, with so much still to give, who deserves the chance to live his new life to the full,” says Dame Judi. “I know that he will be much loved at Littlebrook and will receive the patient care and retraining he needs to help him reach his potential away from the racecourse. Having witnessed first-hand the difference that horses and ponies can make to the lives of disabled children and adults through the work of RDA, it would be wonderful to think that Smokey might be a suitable horse for riders at East Park.”

Smokey’s new owner, Sally-Anne O’Neill, who helps to run East Park RDA and is also County Instructor, Regional Showjumping Coach and Chair of the Showjumping Committee for RDA UK is already planning a bright future for him at Littlebrook: “Smokey is a wonderful horse, with a particularly good temperament. We are delighted that Judi has chosen Littlebrook for Smokey’s new life and of course it would be a real bonus if he becomes suitable for our RDA riders or showjumpers.”

Horley Lions donate £600 from Donkey Derby BBQ

November 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm

TWSA20130818B_005_C derby

Horley Lions Club have kindly donated £600 from the proceeds of a BBQ that they organised at the East Grinstead Lions Donkey Derby.  Little Brook Equestrian’s Pony Club Group provided the jockeys for the races.