THERE was a Royal presence at the recent 49th Riding for the Disabled Association’s 49th agm – its president, HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, chaired the meeting in Glasgow.

The agm brought together delegates from RDA groups from all over the UK – many of whom enjoyed a traditional Scottish welcome at the previous evening’s ceilidh.

In her address, Princess Anne acknowledged that next year’s 50th anniversary would be a time for reflection, but she took time to recognise the experience and expertise within the RDA family, made up of many years dedicated service by RDA’s volunteers and coaches.

Delegates were treated to talks from RDA riders, Max Stainton, who recently became the first person with cerebral palsy to trek to Everest Basecamp on a horse, and Anne Brown, whose dedication to RDA extends to having the charity moto tattooed on her behind!

The agm also honoured the achievements of outgoing RDA chairman, Sam Orde – whose time in office ends in April, 2019 – with an honorary life vice-presidency.

The lively programme included director of operations for RDA UK, Claire Milican, presenting her ‘Top of the Ops’ – a run down of the top 10 innovations, improvements and activities delivered by the RDA National Office during this year.


• Honorary life vice-presidents – RDA UK chairman Sam Orde and deputy chairman, Sheila Saner.

• President’s Award – Patricia Wilding, Clytha RDA.

• Dudley Smith Award – Joan Jack and Alison. Mackintosh, Brae RDA.

• Loriners Education Award – Moray RDA.

• Birt Spooner Cup – Max Stainton.