Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating 50 years of achievement, therapy and fun through horses with an online collection of portraits and stories from all over the UK.
Designed to challenge preconceptions about disability, volunteering and the world of horses, ’50 faces’ is a celebration of the brilliant, fearless and pioneering people who make up the RDA family.
Right from the start, RDA has helped to open up the world of horses to everyone. The charity’s radical mission in 1969 that ‘no disabled person who could benefit from riding shall be denied the opportunity of doing so’ was the start of a quiet revolution that is still breaking down barriers today.
50 Faces acknowledges and celebrates RDA’s impact on people’s lives, regardless of age or background, from those who horse ride and carriage drive for life changing therapy, to the Paralympians who started their journey with their local RDA group.
“In our 50th year we want people outside of RDA to feel that they can get involved, and that means everyone. 50 Faces is about saying: if you think you know who takes part in horse sport – think again,” says RDA UK communications manager Caroline Ward.
“RDA has spent 50 years breaking down the barriers to participation, championing the goals and achievements of disabled people and welcoming volunteers and supporters from all walks of life. By reading just a few of the stories behind the people, hopefully we can inspire more people to join in.”
Among the ‘faces’ are Paralympian Sophie Christiansen CBE, Eventer Bill Levett’s son Josh, renowned jockey Tyrone Williams and Countryfile ‘Farming hero’ Julia Evans.
The campaign also features a Bolivian basketball player, a Hollywood stunt double, a motor racing coach, a horse racing nun and the woman who overcame all the odds to start Riding for the Disabled in Russia.
Explore the 50 faces project here.
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