I know, I sound like I'm a Rock Star just about to leave the stage! But that's how we feel at the close of such a fantastic year!
There have been so many fabulous achievements this year, including many of our riders qualifying for RDA Regional and National Competitions, two representing Great Britain in the Special Olympics, welcomed new riders, volunteers, horses, ponies and staff!
Below are some of our highlights!
Thank you to our supporters!
As well as our fantastic individual donors, without whom we would not be able to keep the doors open, we have also received support for a number of wonderful companies and organisations this year! Saracen Horse Feeds brought us a Christmas Gift of some feed, ASDA Patchway supported our end of year celebration by donating a boatload (or at least a basket load) of mince pies and sweet treats! ITV West Country supported our Hoist Appeal by doing a brilliant news item. Pinkers Country Stores have always been very supportive of the Centre and have helped us this year providing us with free rugs and discounted hats. Don't forget that if you're shopping in Pinkers and tell them you ride with us they'll give you a discount!
Bescoby Equine Dental Vets have always been very supportive of us and have made us one of their charities, offering talks on horse health to help us raise funds and sponsoring our RDA Coaches' uniform! Local Artist Vic Munim once again donated designs for our fabulous Christmas Cards, and the lovely team at Doveton Press printed them free of charge. We are so grateful for this continued support.
Another Local Artist, Jo Bansall, has been supporting the Centre by producing AMAZING portraits of our horses. Her first subject, Bertie, sold for an amazing £350 at our 40th Anniversary Afternoon Tea celebration, and a further amount is currently being raised through a limited edition print run. If you want to take Bertie home there's still time!
We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from BAWA Sport and Leisure, who have been so generous over the years. This year, not only did they give us their function room free of charge to hold our 40th Afternoon Tea Celebration, but have raised us a fantastic £10,000!
We were delighted to be the chosen charity for this year's Badminton Fun Ride, which raised a superb £3,500 for the Centre. We look forward to visiting in the New Year.
Johnson's Workwear not only raised £500 in support of the Centre, but are also donating uniform for our office staff. Hopefully we can all look as bright and shiny as the yard team in the New Year!
A-Plan Insurance (Now Howdens) have been very supportive of us this year - from donating eggs to our Easter Egg Hunt to creating an affiliate link which enables us to earn commission when people buy horse or horsebox insurance.
Thank you to absolutely everyone who supported us this year, we really could not have done it without you!
What a Show!
Or more accurately, what shows! We have been so busy this year, not just with lessons, but our Sundays have been super busy too! Not only did we host RDA Regional qualifiers, but we held in house competitions for RDA Riders, we held our usual Winter Dressage Series and Show Jumping, and for the first time we also held combined training, which has turned out to be very popular.
On days when we weren't offering shows, the Centre has still been busy with things like clinics from BHS Avon, Competitions from Equestrian Training South West and Wessex Trec, as well as Miniature Pony Shows, Dog Shows and lots more. We have loved welcoming everyone and are delighted to have a buzz about the place, even when we aren't offering lessons.
On top of that, with a lot of hard work from Emma and Vic and their brilliant team of volunteers we were able to add a fresh look to the Nativity, which was called Christmas Around the World, and was a celebration of diversity and the Winter season. We hope to build on this success for next year.
Thank you to everyone who supported these events, it all helps the Centre and we hope to see you for more events in the New Year!
Did you forget someone this Christmas?
Have you had a gift you weren't expecting and need an ethical and thoughtful present ASAP? Why not grab one of our virtual gifts? You can print or email the picture and tell the recipient how they helped an RDA Rider to gain access to lessons, helped keep horses warm and fed this winter, or treated a horse to some new shoes! No-one will know you forgot to buy them a present, and a charity gift is always lovely to help remember the spirit of the season. Grab yours here.
We'd love your feedback!
As a Centre we are continually looking to improve in the ways we help people. We'd be really grateful if you could complete our end of year survey! Click here to fill it in.
And finally, Thank YOU! We would not be here without our participants, volunteers and staff team. There is a reason the Centre is such a wonderful place to be, and that's because of all of you. No matter what you do here, know that we appreciate you and it wouldn't be the same without you. We would like to take this opportunity to offer you a happy, safe and restful holiday season, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year! Here's to an even better 2024!