Equestrian: Four riders earn National Championship places

Adam Sharp came first in the Junior Class.

Adam Sharp came first in the Junior Class. - Credit: Archant

Four team riders from Harpenden Riding for the Disabled Association Group earned places in the National Championships.

The HRDA competitors took part in the Countryside Challenge and achieved the marks and position in their class required to qualify for the National Championships in Gloucestershire in July.

“I was very impressed with how well all of our riders did, especially as it was so windy and cold on the day,” said Lesley Stone, HRDA group instructor.

“It was a very successful day for the group – we are all delighted.”

The Countryside Challenge consists of 12 “obstacles” which the rider has to negotiate while having full control of the horse.

One of the group’s riders, 10-year-old Adam Sharp, came first in the Junior Class and also achieved the highest score of the day.

Adam, who has only been riding for 8 months, rode Simba, a pony owned by Greenacres Equestrian.

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He said: “I was over the moon to win such a massive trophy and I am really looking forward to the National Championships! Simba was brilliant.”

His mum Jos added: “Adam has various disabilities resulting from a brain tumour and even getting on the pony is problematic for him. It was fantastic to see him looking so professional on Simba and to see him using his left hand to hold the reins, which is very difficult for him to do.

“The whole volunteer team at RDA do an amazing job, for which I’m very grateful – Adam hasn’t stopped smiling since.”

The Harpenden RDA group is currently looking out for extra volunteers on a Thursday night between 5.30-7pm. If you are interested in helping contact the group via email or phone. Volunteers do not need to have experience with horses or disabled riders as this will be provided as required.

The association relies on voluntary help, donations and legacies to deliver its services; contact tim@stagenhoe.co.uk or 07778 519569) for more information.