Welcome to Cambs College RDA!

Hello and welcome to Cambridgeshire College Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association!

We hope you enjoy having a browse through our website and learning more about the group. News items will feature here, on the home page, and further information about the group can be found by clicking on the headings at the top of the page.

To discover the activities we do, have a look at the 'About us' section.

If you are interested in joining us as a rider or volunteer, please visit 'New riders' or 'Volunteering'.

To learn about our fabulous horses, please click 'Meet the horses'.

If you would like to make a donation to our group, please click here or use the BT Donate links on the left hand side of each page.

To get in touch with us, please click here or use the contact form on the left hand side of each page.

Please be aware that this site is brand new and not all the pages are up and running yet! If you would like more information on joining as a rider or volunteer, please get in touch.

Super success for Eleanor at the Para Dressage Home International

Congratulations to Eleanor Currington and Cambs College's Drunkeen Boy (aka Boysie) who represented the East Region at this year's Para Dressage Home International. They were extremely successful, with Eleanor winning the Bronze Grade 3 category on the Saturday and coming second in the same class on the Sunday.

Both of Eleanor's scores were high enough to be counted towards the team total, which took them to third place overall as a team! It was the first time either Eleanor or Boysie had competed at this level and we are extremely proud of them.
Eleanor hiding at the back on the left!
Congratulations and thanks also go to all of the RDA Group's volunteers who made the trip to Leicester for the event, in particular Gillian Newsum. Top teamwork!

Please read more about the event below and on the British Dressage website here.

Eleanor Currington at the Para-Dressage Home International

Congratulations and good luck to Cambs College's Eleanor Currington, who will be representing the East Region at the 2018 Equissage Pulse Para-Dressage Home International! Eleanor will be riding Cambs College horse, Boysie, in the Grade III category. It is a massive achievement to be selected and we are very excited for her! Please see below for the RDA East Region's Facebook publication.

Epic Kilimanjaro Climb for Cambs College RDA

Congratulations and a massive thank you to our wonderful volunteer, Cathie Stableford, who made it all the way to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Cambs College RDA! Here is her report on her amazing trip...

The Kili Girls 2018 Challenge - WE DID IT!!!!

"After a year of planning, four intrepid local friends, Cathie, Chris, Franny (all from Cottenham) and Lenja (from Cambridge) made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Walking up the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and highest peak in Africa presented us with a few challenges and an unforgettable experience that we would like to share a little with you.
The journey took us through the different climatic zones of the region; including lush, wet rainforest jungle, heath and moorland zones, alpine desert and the steep, exposed arctic summit region.  Even though we had chosen the 8 day Lemosho route that allowed for acclimatization, altitude was a major challenge and something that we all had to overcome as we approached the higher stages of the trek.
Camp life was an experience; bed tea at 6 am, a bowl of washing water (washy, washy), all meals provided, taking down and packing up the 2 man tents and a portable loo - our amazing porters would rush on past us to the next destination, carrying vast amounts on their heads and backs.  Always cheerful and greeting us with Jambo (hello) or Pole Pole (slowly slowly), as they passed.  The guides walked with us and we had a ratio of 1 guide per 2 trekkers.

Our party of 16 was cared for by a team of 64 amazing porters and guides and it was humbling to reach one of the earth’s most iconic mountains supported by such kindness from those who in our terms have so little.  We had our own mess tent.  Food was plentiful and nutritious for walking; porridge, eggs, bacon, toast and fruit for breakfast, excellent packed lunches and 3 course dinners, including the local dish, plantain stew on our last evening.  Always lots of soup.  We had to drink at least 3 litres of fluid a day to avoid dehydration and we became accustomed to spotting good rocks and shrubs to hide behind on our rest breaks!  We started  walking most days at around 8.30 am and finished mid afternoon.  Sleep was sometimes scarce because of altitude but our tents were cozy.
On summit night, we set off at midnight, it was really tough due to the altitude but our guides pulled us through and we sat at dawn to watch the sun rise over the curvature of the earth.  We made it to Stella Point and after sweet tea, set off on the final push from there, along the crater rim to the highest point, Uhuru Peak, 5,895 metres.   The temperature was around – 10 degrees C but there was only 50% oxygen so it was difficult to breathe.
Photos were taken, hugs and tears shared and we made our rapid descent down the scree – it was more of a scree jog and quite exhilarating.  After lunch and a rest at base camp, we descended further to our final camp and after breakfast, were treated to a brilliant singing celebration by our porters and guides. This was also our chance to say thank you and we could donate kit and give tips.   More hugs and tears.
Our last day took us quickly down towards the warmth of the rainforest and we were treated to lots of animal hoots and bird song, something that we hadn’t heard for a while.  As we signed out from Kilimanjaro National Park for the final time, we were able to reflect on our journey of a lifetime and of those days spent amongst companions with whom we will share everlasting memories.
We self funded our adventure and raised money for our chosen charities.  Cathie – Cambs College RDA Group (Riding for the Disabled), Chris – Alzheimer’s Society, Franny – MPS Society (Mucopolysaccharidosis), Lenja – Pinpoint Cambridge.  Thanks to the support and encouragement of so many of our friends and families we were able to raise significant donations, so would like to thank you all so much for such generosity.  We are very touched that your donations are still coming in.
Climbing Kili was an experience that isn’t easy; at times it was uncomfortable and rather breathless but also rewarding in more ways than we could have imagined possible." 

To make a secure donation via BT MyDonate, please click here or on the black 'BT MyDonate' logo on the left hand side of this page. Cash donations can also be made in person during RDA sessions on a Thursday evening. Thank you!

Arts and Crafts Competition (Regional round)

Entries are now open for this year's Arts & Crafts competition! Please read on for further information.

How does the competition work?
This is run through two rounds: a regional round, judged by RDA East Region officials; and a national round. The best entries from the regional competition will be put forwards to the national competition, judged at the RDA National Championships at Hartpury in July.
2016 entries to the National Championships
What classes are available?
There are six classes:
  1. 'Paint me a Picture' - Any age - Individual or Group (maximum 4 people). Any equestrian-themed picture created in any medium. Maximum size A1 (594mm c 841mm)
  2. Paintings and Drawings - Any age - Individual. Maximum size A1. The work MUST be relevant to RDA activities.
  3. Collages - Any age - Individual. Maximum size A2 (420mm x 594mm). The work MUST be relevant to RDA activities.
  4. Collages - Any age - Group (maximum 10 people). Maximum size A1. The work MUST be relevant to RDA activities.
  5. Sculpture - Any age - Individual. The work MUST be relevant to RDA activities.
  6. Sculpture - Any age - Group (maximum 10 people). The work MUST be relevant to RDA activities.
Sculptures have no maximum size but if they are entered to the national final they will be displayed in a tent with extremely limited space, on a table which is set up on grass and may not be brilliantly stable. The request from National is please to be sensible!
2017 entries at Hartpury
How much does it cost?
There is no entry fee for the regional round, but if a piece of artwork is submitted to the national final there is a fee of £5.50 per entry, or £5.50 per entrant in group classes, up to a maximum of £22.
How do I enter and/or find out more? 
Anybody wishing to have their work exhibited at Hartpury MUST enter the regional qualifying round first.
First, create your masterpiece! Download and complete the entry form ('Arts & Crafts REGIONAL ROUND Entry Form 2018' under 'Useful Information' here), then submit this with your entry.
The Regional Round will be judged on Friday 1st June 2018. Entries can be dropped off at the Regional Qualifier on Sunday 20th May 2018 (College of West Anglia, Milton, Cambridge), or by arrangement at Weston Colville Hall (contact Gay Redman).

Cathie's Kilimanjaro Climb for Cambs College!

Towards the end of January 2018, Cambs College volunteer, Cathie Stableford, will be flying out to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, raising money for our RDA Group in the process. Scaling the peak of the highest point in Africa will be no mean challenge: it towers 5,895m (19,341 feet) above sea level and will take Cathie and her team eight days to reach the top. We had a quick chat to find out how she's feeling about this mammoth challenge!

To sponsor Cathie and support Cambs College RDA, please use the 'My Donate' link on the left hand side of this page, or click here.
Cathie (left) on a training climb
Who will you be trekking with along the way?
There are 4 of us walking and fundraising: Lenja, who is fundraising for Pinpoint; Franny, fundraising for the MPS Society; Chris, fundraising for the Alzheimer's Society; and me!

Gay Redman wins national award for volunteering

Congratulations to Gay Redman, President of Cambs College RDA, who won this year's RDA Regional Volunteer of the Year Award! This is a new prize which recognises the work of long-serving volunteers nationally. Gay received her award from HRH Princess Anne at this year's AGM, which was held at Saddlers' Hall in London.
November 10th 2017