Welcome to Cambs College RDA!

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

Cambs College RDA is a fun and friendly group which meets weekly to provide equestrian activities to young adults with disabilities in the Cambridge area. Founded in the late 1980s, the group is well-established at The College of West Anglia's Milton campus in north Cambridge, and is run entirely by volunteers.

As well as riding lessons, we also have a separate vaulting group, which provides vaulting lessons for all age groups and abilities. Vaulting is essentially gymnastics on top of a moving horse and is very different from regular riding! It can help improve balance, coordination, and team work. The Vaulting group meets at weekends at Contessa Riding School in Hertfordshire.

We need funds to provide these valuable activities to disabled people. Please consider donating to our group.

We hope you enjoy having a browse through our website and learning more about the group.

Please scroll down to find the latest news!

Success for RDA participant at the Special Olympics World Games!

We’ve had some great news out of the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin – four RDA Participants who took part came home with an amazing 11 medals! Our own rider Christopher Bradley won gold in 3 A level events, Dressage, English Equitation and Working Trials, scoring a brilliant 77% in the dressage canter test- a fantastic achievement! 

Regional Qualifiers 2023

Sunday 21st May saw the RDA East Region Regional Championships take place at CWA Milton. Our group and others from around the East Region came together to compete for places at the National Championships in July – or just to have fun.

Cambs College RDA was represented by 12 of our regular riders, 5 independent riders and 14 volunteers. In addition the burger and cake stalls were manned by our people – many thanks to Seppe, and to Carly and her mum Michele, and to their helpers and all the cake-makers.

At the course walk Teddy made clear that the Countryside Challenge course was not for him, meaning that all our plans for who was riding which horse had to be quickly rearranged, while differing delays to the schedules of the two arenas meant that the order of riders and events sometimes had to be switched. Our chairman Gillian did some skilful juggling of horses and riders and everyone ended up in the right class, if not quite with the timing and horse that they had originally expected.

Our riders did brilliantly, with 7 of our regular riders and 3 of our independent riders qualifying to go to the National Championships at Hartpury, and some great performances that just missed qualifying against stiff competition.

Well done everyone and a big thank you to all the volunteers, local and regional, without whom none of this could happen.

Coaching News

Pippa will soon be coaching sessions, as a trainee coach. We are excited to welcome her to the coaching team. Our coaches are highly trained and have to complete several modules, both practical and theoretical, before they become a trainee coach. They are then assessed by the RDA County Coach before becoming fully qualified. This is reviewed every 3 years. They are a dedicated lot and we couldn’t operate without them. 

During February we have had visiting coaches and trainee coaches from two other groups. Woodgreen RDA is the only other RDA group in Cambridgeshire that have adult riders so it will be good to develop a relationship with them. Every RDA group is different and coaches in training are encouraged to visit other RDA groups to see how they work. Two trainees and a coach from Elysian group in Ely came to visit us, and In due course Pippa will visit them in exchange.

New Year News

Hello all and Happy New Year! We are kicking off 2023 with lots of news already, including a brand new addition to the team.

Gay Redman receives award from HRH The Princess Royal

In October, Gay Redman, trustee and former chairman of Cambs College RDA, received a President's Award from HRH The Princess Royal. The President's Award is the most prestigious volunteer award within RDA and is awarded for service of exceptional nature over 30 years. Well done Gay!


Kodie Lawrence, one of our riders, and her parents Dave and Kate have made an exceptional contribution to our group fundraising efforts, raising a truly amazing £898 from their crafts and Christmas cards. Many thanks to all three of them for their amazing hard work and dedication.

Introducing Teddy!

We are happy to announce that we have been given £10,000 by the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Trust to buy an additional horse- meet Teddy! He is being introduced into lessons this month and will be a valuable asset to the team. Teddy is a 15.1hh coloured cob gelding. 

New boy Teddy. Please visit the Horse's page to learn more about him

Thank yous

We owe a huge "Thank You" to the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Trust who very generously gave us a donation that covered the cost of our new horse, Teddy.  Sir Peter was a racing commentator, known as ‘The Voice of Racing’ and the trust was set up in his memory.  We are extremely grateful to the Trustees for their support, which covered not only the cost of Teddy but also his tack, his transport to Cambridge, and all the other expenses involved in buying a horse. Although Teddy is rather more ‘comfortably built’ than a race horse, we think Sir Peter would have liked him.

Many thanks also to the local Tesco customers who supported us in the 'Bags of Help' blue token scheme last year. We were delighted to be voted into first place, receiving £1500 towards our costs.

Gold for Great Britain!

A massive congratulations to Cambridgeshire College's rider Chris Bradley and his horse Harley Rebel, the duo won gold for Great Britain in the 2022 Virtus Para-Equestrian Video Competition (Round 2)! They competed against many riders from around the world and have achieved this amazing result.

Chris has also been selected to represent GB at next year's Special Olympics World Games in Germany! We will all be cheering him on next year!

Great results from the 2022 Virtual Winter Championships!

The virtual championships were held on the 29th and 30th October, with entries having to be filmed prior to this and sent in to be judged. The event was livestreamed over the weekend and featured many different classes but also included the ones that were unfortunately cancelled due to the hot weather during the July Championships. A very big well done to all involved including parents/carers as well as coaches and volunteers for supporting everyone! 


Grade 3- 5th Place to Gemma Cassettari on Shelley

Grade 6 Dressage to Music: 2nd Place to Lizzie Bennett on Puro

Jodie Williams, Lucy Morrison and Rebecca Lawes all did well in their dressage competitions against some tough competition.



Barrel- 1st Place Kodie Lawrence 

Canter Compulsories/Walk Freestyle- 1st Place Hannah Green on Puro

Canter Compulsories/Canter Freestyle- 1st Place Lizzie Bennett on Puro

Well done to all!

RDA National Championships 2022

It was wonderful for so many of our riders to be able to go to the National Championships at Hartpury after a two-year gap because of Covid – and they certainly made the most of it! However, it was our best horse, Boysie, who really stole the show, winning all three of the classes he was entered for: dressage and show jumping with Lizzie Bennett (making them National Champions in both classes), and the Countryside Challenge with Olina Peters. Lizzie rounded off an incredible two days at the championships with three wins in the vaulting.

Chris Bradley was awarded the “best rider” prize in the SEIB Search for a Star showing class (and soon after the national championships Chris went on to qualify for the 2023 Global Championship in France by coming second in both of his classes at the Virtus Para Dressage World Championships)

Sadly, for many of our riders, all the Sunday competitions at Hartpury were cancelled due to the extreme heat. Under the circumstances, this was obviously the right thing for RDA to do, but it was very disappointing for the riders concerned. We hope all the riders who missed their competitions on Sunday can enter the virtual championships instead.

Altogether, 10 of our riders had qualified for the National Championships this year. Had it not been for Sunday’s cancellation, this would have been a fantastic turn out at Hartpury.

Cambs College on film!

Great excitement for our group recently when a film crew working with RDA head office came to film some of our riders in action. RDA made a documentary after visiting various groups around the country to take footage and do interviews. Our photo shows Abdallah getting ready for his interview.... he did well! Lucy, Jodie, Abdullah and Rebecca all came to ride and be filmed by the crew, and a lot of fun was had posing for photos, being filmed in the arena and making sure everyone smiled for the cameras! The documentary can now be seen on the RDA website if you scroll down on the strategy page: http://www.rda.org.uk/strategy/


200 Club Draw

Every two months we hold our 200 Club draw to find the lucky winners: £50 goes to the first prize winner, and £30 to second.

If you'd like the chance to win some money, do join our 200 Club. It only costs £15 for a year, and you might win a lot more than you put in! To join, please contact seppe@cassettari.org

Our photo shows one our riders, Lucy, making the draw.

Covid-19 restrictions

We managed to get the through the worst of these by reducing our classes to two riders per class and everyone wearing masks and using hand sanitiser. Fortunately, normal service has now resumed!

Eleanor at the Para Summer Festival

Eleanor Currington recently competed at the Para Summer Festival at Solihull where she won her section (Grade III silver) with a score of 71.4% - her best score so far in a para competition.  
Well done Eleanor! And well done Boysie (Drunkeen Boy), our wonderful RDA horse who has stepped up to the plate thanks to hard work from Eleanor and extra training from Trisha Polson.

200 Club - First Draw

The first draw of the Cambs College RDA 200 Club has now taken place, with the lucky winners collecting £45 (first prize) and £25 (second prize). The next draw will be in two months’ time, and by then we hope to have well over 100 members so that the first prize can be £50 or more.
Horses,  Bob and Larry keeping an eye on proceedings!
Tell all your friends to join in our club (only £12 for a year); the more members we have the bigger the prizes will be! The lucky numbers this time were drawn by CCR’s chairman, Gillian Newsum, who thanked Seppe Cassettari for all his work in getting the Club set up.

Who will be the next winner?

For more information and a membership form, contact seppe@cassettari.org, or 01223 892390

Donation in memory of Jimmy Page

Mary Page says hello to one of the horses on the yard at the College of West Anglia where the
Cambs College RDA group is based.
Mary and her daughter, Sandra, recently visited our RDA group to watch our riders and horses in action, and to hand over a cheque of £450. The money had been raised for Cambs College RDA from a collection held at the funeral of Mary’s husband, Jimmy, who loved horses. We are enormously grateful for this donation, and we look forward to welcoming Mary and Sandra back again soon.