Santa at East Park RDA

February 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Santa came to Little Brook Equestrian to see our disabled riders at the end of the winter term. Here he is with one of our Monday riders:

Our Riders at the National Championships

September 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Back in May East Park qualified five riders for the RDA National Championships at Hartpury in July. Hartpury is an amazing venue and the positive atmosphere of the championships is a real example of the RDA slogan “It’s what you can do that counts”.

After some amazing fundraising by all the parents and hard practising by the pupils the team at Little Brook swung into action and prepared the three ponies for travel.  The journey was hot but uneventful and everyone arrived safely and settled into their accommodations, humans and horses alike!

Early on Saturday morning our first two riders; Orla, riding Star, and Darcy, riding Liquorice, took to the Gloucestershire hills led by Sally and Jon for an endurance ride. The ponies were checked by a vet upon setting off and again on return. They were given the choice of a one or two kilometre course and wisely, considering the heat, both chose the 1k route. The ponies behaved superbly and the event was enjoyed by all. Both ponies coped well and their heart rates barely rose which shows their fitness was excellent. Ponies were rested, unlike the humans, and little Star was bathed again to keep that wonderful clean coat sparkling white.

All of the riders were entered for the Countryside Challenge at varying times. The children individually ride a challenging course involving a number of obstacles to manoeuvre through, and around on their pony. Each child is judged on their riding skills, controlling both pace and direction of their ponies, and at the end of the day all the marks are added up for the various categories.

The results were:

Junior Countryside Challenge National Qualifiers

Lead –
4th Jasmin riding Liquorice
5th Darcy riding Liquorice

Visually Impaired Lead –
3rd Orla riding Star

Visually Impaired Lead + side walker
6th Zoe riding Star
4th Evie-Mae riding Guy

We are immensely proud of all our pupils for their hard work and effort. To qualify was exciting but for all of our riders to be placed in such esteemed company was astonishing. As with our weekly lessons, achieving this level of success is a real team effort and we are very grateful to everyone who went along to help.

East Grinstead Mayor presents End of Term Awards

September 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

East Grinstead Mayor, Rex Whittaker, made himself available to present the end of term awards for both Manor Green and St Stephen’s Primary School. Earlier in the term Rex came along to several sessions watching the children ride and has since chosen East Park as one of his three charities to support this year. We are very grateful for his interest and support.

Every term the pupils are set targets, individual to each child. By helping to choose the skill they want to improve they take ownership of the improvements they need to make to win their Endeavour awards. Each session, within the lesson, they focus on the element they have chosen and together with their leaders work toward making the improvements needed.

All six riders from Manor Green School received their Endeavour Awards, Grade 1 Riding Certificates and Grade 1 Horse Care Certificates and badges.

Fourteen children from St Stephens received their Endeavour Awards. Four received the Grade 2 Riding and Horse Care certificates, one received Grade 1 Riding and Horse Care certificates, and also one received Grade 1 Carriage Driving certificate. Ten of the children had entered into the Regional Artwork competition and won 2nd prize so also collected their beautiful blue rosettes.

The Mayor also presented individual achievement awards and they were:

Most Improved Newcomer, Continued Best Effort, Improvement Award, Challenge Award, Carriage Driving Award, Outstanding Accomplishmen,t Effort and Achievement.

Woodfield School’s riders passed their Grade 1 Horse Care and Riding having had a very busy term covering all the required elements.

Six endeavour awards were earned by the children from The QE II School for their hard work and effort during the term.

Sally O’Neill went to the Clifton Hill School’s annual prize giving awards, held at Surrey National Golf Club in Chaldon, to present the children’s endeavour awards in front of their parents and school staff.

All our riders have consistently worked hard during the summer and we are very proud of their accomplishments.

East Park merge with Ashdown Forest Group

September 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

Ashdown Forest RDA Group has sadly had to cease operating, and asked East Park RDA to merge with them and take over their equipment and remaining funds.  The merger went smoothly and we all look forward to working together and an exciting future.

Tim Stockdale has long been a supporter of Ashdown Forest RDA and has offered his continued support. Tim is probably one of the best known faces in British Show Jumping and a top international show jumper. He first represented Great Britain in 1988. He has now represented his country on over 50 occasions in Nation’s Cup teams including the 2002 World Equestrian Games, the 2008 Olympic Games in China and the 2009 European Championships.

Grants and Donations

September 5, 2018 at 2:27 pm

The generosity of grant makers never ceases to amaze us.  We have received two generous grants:

The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund is a grant making registered charity which was established primarily to aid the research into learning disability and to aid the care and relief of those affected by learning disability by making grants to voluntary organisations working in this field. They have supported us in the past, and have kindly granted us £1,000 to purchase new riding hats.

The Hedley Foundation is a grant giving charitable foundation which supports small to medium sized charities which work with young people.  They have kindly granted us £1,078 to purchase a new harness for one of our driving ponies.

In addition, the Horley Lions Club, have donated £1,000 from the proceeds of their annual horse show, for which we provide the judges.  Lions Member Andrew presented Sally O’Neill with the cheque at our base at Little Brook Equestrian.