The Exeter Group of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a Fun Day at Powderham Castle on Sunday 25 September 2016.
RDA riders and ponies will be giving displays throughout the day. The Dartmoor Hill Pony Display Team, who were a popular attraction at the Devon County Show this year, will also be appearing and giving a number of exciting displays.
A Fun Dog show will take place in the afternoon from 1pm, with ten classes including most handsome dog, prettiest bitch, waggiest tail, best in show and many more. There will be six rosettes in each class, in addition to other doggy prizes and treats. Entrance to each class will be £1.
There will be pony rides for children from the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association and also opportunities to stroke an owl and pet a miniature pony.
The Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Exeter Group began in 1966 as the Powderham Castle Group. It was set up by Elizabeth Burne and her friends, with support from the Earl and Countess of Devon. They provided the riding facilities in the indoor school at Powderham Castle while the Powderham Saddle Club provided the horses and ponies.
The Powderham Hoist, a device for mounting disabled riders onto their horses, was designed specifically for the group by J.K. Vivian and can still be seen in the Powderham Castle indoor school to this day.
Bob Gaiger, RDA Exeter Group chairman said: “Our group started riding at Powderham Castle in 1966 and thanks to the Dowager Lady Devon and Charlie, the current Earl, it will be great to get back to our roots to celebrate our 50th anniversary here. Proceeds from the day will help us to continue to provide free riding for disabled children in the Exeter area.”
Charlie Courtenay, Earl of Devon, said: “We are honoured to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Exeter Group at Powderham Castle. My grandparents were instrumental in helping to set up the group, so it’s wonderful that such a fantastic charity has continued to grow and provide a safe environment for children to learn to ride.”