We know that Baz is a particular favourite with many of our supporters and thought that some of you may have missed the following article appeared in the Hexham Courant
National recognition for Morpeth Group Riding for the Disabled Association’s Baz
A PONTELAND pony has been recognised as one of the best nationally.
Baz, who is loaned by the Errington family, of Ogle, to the Morpeth Group Riding for the Disabled Association, finished fifth in the RDA Horse/Pony category of the first, virtual SEIB Search for a Star competition.
The volunteer-led charity, based out of the Pegasus Centre, in Tranwell, aims to improve the lives of children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities through sport.
The centre’s horses and ponies provide vital therapy, achievement and enjoyment to over 100 riders weekly.
And despite Covid-19 putting paid to the group’s sessions, their animals are still getting the recognition they, rightfully, deserve!
With over 300 entries across 10 classes, judges Richard and Marjorie Ramsay had the difficult task of selecting the top RDA Horse/Pony.
Richard said: “Again, a hugely difficult class to judge because we did look and thought, these are the sort of animals, good bodies, that basically if you put a saddle on them and a disabled rider, they look very much like they’d be able to carry that person.”
Whittling down the class, Baz was selected as one of a “mixed bunch of six animals” that they ‘really really liked.’
Another of the group’s horses, George, was also entered into the competition, but was not placed.
In a statement, the RDA said: “Following the decision around the lockdown from November 5 to December 2, the majority of RDA sessions will have to be suspended over this period.
Riding centres and stables can remain open for the care and exercise of equines during this period to protect animal welfare.”
The Pegasus Centre is a partnership between the RDA, Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland, the county’s sporting body, who manage the facility.
Due to mark its 50th anniversary in 2021, the Morpeth Group relies on donors and fundraising efforts to deliver its vital work to young people and adults across the county.
And in a bid to keep funds up, the Group has launched an Adopt a Pony Scheme, with donations going toward hay, farrier and vet bills.
Annual General Meeting 2020
We held our 2020 AGM via Zoom. Please find attached the Chairman’s Report.
All Trustees were re-elected.
Chairman – Michelle Macaulay
Treasurer – Teresa Scott
Secretary – Carole Peters-Jones
Trustee – Sue Thompson
Trustee – Beverley Oliver
Trustee – Kate Howard
Trustee – Jonathan Peters-Jones
Chairman and Treasurer’s Report 2019/20
I hope you and your families are all well and are managing in these very difficult times. Writing this report seems very odd during the current Covid 19 pandemic. We haven’t been able to run any RDA sessions since March and events such as the Regional Competition and the Championships didn’t take place. The impact on participants has been significant, as well as for volunteers, for whom RDA provides an important community. I know many have missed their time at RDA.
It’s nearly 50 years since Morpeth Group started riding lessons and we have enriched countless lives through horses ever since. In 2021 we’re hoping to mark our 50th Anniversary with a visit from the RDA President Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. We will of course keep you updated about our celebrations early next year.
During the restrictions we have still managed to hold a couple of very successful fundraising events. Thanks to Marcia Thompson for running a duck race for us and also to the Trustees who took part in the 2.6 Challenge – your support of these events raised over £1600, all of which will be used towards the care and welfare of our fantastic ponies. We have also relaunched our “Adopt A Pony” scheme and again the money raised from this goes towards the care of our ponies.
Our 11 fantastic ponies had several months turned out in the field earlier in the year, enjoying the sun and a well-earned break. They came back into work and started general riding lessons again in July. The health and welfare of our ponies is extremely important to us and we strive to ensure that all our ponies are kept happy and healthy – our main expense being on equine welfare. We are very grateful to our vets at Alnorthumbria for all their hard work, care and advice. We are also very grateful to Mrs V Errington, Mrs D Wyatt and Mrs J Frost for the continued loan of their wonderful ponies.
Active Northumberland and Northumberland County Council continue to support Morpeth RDA and we are very grateful for all the services they provide. Morpeth RDA could not continue to do what we do without their assistance. Thank you to the Active Northumberland staff who have worked right through the lockdown and continue to look after our ponies. During the on-going pandemic we have been helped by RDA National Office and I’d also like to thank Pauline Harrison (RDA Regional Chairman) and Avril Lomas (RDA County Coach) for their continued help and support, always available at the end of the phone, keeping us up to date with all the changes and guidelines.
In 2019 we were fortunate again to be one of the chosen charities at Belsay Horse Trials and we received £1020 from the raffle; thanks to Laura and Peter de Wesselow for their continued support.
Many thanks to all our sponsors and donors over the last year, including William Webster
Foundation, William Leech Foundation, Persimmon Charitable Giving, RW Mann, Kelly Trust,
Draeger, Unison, Barber Foundation, Joicey Trust, Hedley Denton, Hays Travel and Morpeth
Dispensary. Also, thank you to everyone who donated towards the cost of sending our riders to the RDA National Championships in 2019, this was a huge expense for our group, costing £3795, but is an experience that our riders and helpers will always remember.
The High Sheriff of Northumberland, Lady Joicey, was invited to come to see the work we do. She watched sessions and spent time talking to volunteers and riders. Morpeth RDA is a charity which several High Sheriffs have supported for many years now and we thank them for their continued support of our work with young volunteers.
As always, we rely very heavily on our team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers; thank you all for giving so generously of your time and energy. Until now we have been unable to restart RDA sessions but due to recent changes in guidelines from RDA National, we are now looking into restarting lessons in a Covid Secure manner on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for 2 school groups. Once all the paperwork and risk assessments are in place and we have been given the go ahead from National Office to restart we’ll be in touch.
Thank you again to everyone involved with Morpeth RDA. It may be some time before we are back to normal but we hope to see some of you very soon.
With very best wishes
The Trustees working hard at the Pegasus Centre
Morpeth RDA Duck Race
The ducks were released onto the river Wansbeck and after a hotly contested
race the results were as follows
1st Orange duck, Mallory, number 16 – Laura Horgan
2nd Orange duck number 18 – Sue Thompson
3rd Turquoise duck number 32 – Sarah Kirk
The video of the race can be found on facebook
Thank you to everyone who took part and thanks to Marcia Thompson for
running the race for us.
A huge thank you to everyone who took part or supported us in our 2.6 Challenge, some photos from the walks can be seen on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/2345396355789229/
So far we have raised the fantastic sum of £845. All of the money raised will go towards the care and upkeep of our 13 wonderful ponies.
If you haven’t yet donated but would like to, there’s still time, just click on the link below
Many thanks again for your continued support
Our ponies enrich the lives of so many riders, so please, any help that you may be able to give will be greatly appreciated and Morpeth RDA ponies will still be here when we come out of COVID-19 and will be able to continue their essential riding therapy.