Equibuddy trio riding high at Hartpury

Jane Currie (left) and Gwyneth Hume display their prizes
Jane Currie (left) and Gwyneth Hume display their prizes
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Three riders from the Greenlaw-based Equibuddy Riding for the Disabled group have achieved fantastic results in the RDA National Championships at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.

Jane Currie from Denholm took first place in both the Senior Championship Dressage class and the Freestyle Dressage to Music class, riding nine-year-old appaloosa gelding Hope Valley Sparky (stable name Sparky).

Gwyneth Hume on Spotty

Gwyneth Hume on Spotty

The 47-year-old also achieved the highest overall dressage mark out of more than 100 competitors, including several Paralympian athletes, with a score of 83 in her freestyle test.

Gwyneth Hume,16, of Greenlaw brought home first place in the Junior Championship Dressage and second place in the freestyle on Sparky’s half-brother, 13-year-old appaloosa gelding Macrobert.com (stable name Spotty).

Richard Howard, 58, of Melrose, a trustee of the charity, reached 14th place in the Championship Dressage and seventh place in the Freestyle, riding 12-year-old Sports Horse Monkey.

The RDA National Championship at Hartpury is the largest para equine event in the world, where disabled riders from all over the UK can show off their horsemanship skills in a variety of disciplines, including showjumping and dressage.

The RDA National Championships often act as a springboard for competitors into the world of Paralympic riding.

Hume, who is also the overall regional RDA dressage champion for Scotland, told The Southern: “I couldn’t be happier.

“Spotty is not just a horse to me, but also my partner – he helps me to achieve things that I couldn’t without him. Spotty was a star and got us the win.”

Currie, who represented Equibuddy at the National Championships for the fourth time this year, said: “I am so grateful to Equibuddy for giving me the opportunity to take part in the RDA National Championships and also to be able to ride their horses each week at the Border Group arena.

“It is a great privilege for me to be able to ride their beautifully trained horses and especially Sparky.

“I had a fantastic weekend down at Hartpury and was completely shocked when I was told I had won the two classes I’d entered – all the hard work, from the Equibuddy trainers and myself certainly paid off.”

Equibuddy is one of 500 RDA Groups all over the UK that provide horse riding, carriage driving, vaulting and showjumping to 30,000 people with disabilities. RDA activities are specially designed for children and adults with physical and learning difficulties to receive physical and psycho-social therapy, enjoyment and a chance to achieve.

The group currently delivers riding and vaulting lessons to around 70 children and adults of mixed abilities.

They are based in Greenlaw, but also provide horses and coaches for events around the country using their mobile unit, including a weekly session for disabled vaulters and riders at the Borders RDA group’s Monteviot facility, near Jedburgh.

Contact Jenny Leggate at jenny@equibuddy.org for more information