Borders RDA riding high on 50th birthday

Maureen Clarke, Dawn Platt, Margaret Plummer who made the Flower arrangement, Liz Sanderson with Founder members, Gilly Dalton, Janet Forbis- Walker and Moyna Turnbull
Maureen Clarke, Dawn Platt, Margaret Plummer who made the Flower arrangement, Liz Sanderson with Founder members, Gilly Dalton, Janet Forbis- Walker and Moyna Turnbull

More than 120 volunteers, riders, founders and fundraisers got together to celebrate their charity’s 50th anniversary at the weekend.

The Borders branch of Riding for the Disabled marked that milestone moment with a celebratory party at its Monteviot riding arena near Ancrum.

Kelly, Mitchell and Rose Hobbs with Louise Nicholson and son Archie who has been at Riding for the Disabled for 2 years and loves horses.

Kelly, Mitchell and Rose Hobbs with Louise Nicholson and son Archie who has been at Riding for the Disabled for 2 years and loves horses.

From its humble beginnings in 1968, the group has expanded and grown over the years to now regularly welcome around 50 riders each week, as well as Border Vaulters and dressage competitors.

However, on Saturday its horses enjoyed a day off, and the £400,000 arena instead played host to a beach-themed birthday party.

The group’s chairwoman, Susie Elliot, has been involved with the charity from day one, having first volunteered as a young newlywed, supporting her sister-in-law Jackie, who had Down’s syndrome but went on to ride for 25 years.

She said: “The celebration was for everyone we have touched over the years, including riders, their families and all our volunteers.

Urs Schaeli Trustee, Jane Currie Trustee, Susie Elliott Chairman, Rosie Shield Secretary, Will Roberts Treasurer, Dorothy Brunton Trustee and Jill Kyle Vice Chairman at The RDA 50th birthday celbrations

Urs Schaeli Trustee, Jane Currie Trustee, Susie Elliott Chairman, Rosie Shield Secretary, Will Roberts Treasurer, Dorothy Brunton Trustee and Jill Kyle Vice Chairman at The RDA 50th birthday celbrations

“It was a big thank-you to everyone who has helped us.

“We had the arena looking like a beach party, with clowns, a court jester, food and games for the children. It went with a total bang, and we were delighted to be joined by some of our ex-helpers, some of whom are 95 years old.”

The charity’s founder, the late Bethia Allan, was represented by daughter Gilly Dalton.

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