Harpenden RDA’s Adam Sharp advances to national finals of the Countryside Challenge

Adam Sharp on board Simba at the regional qualifier for the Countryside Challenge

Adam Sharp on board Simba at the regional qualifier for the Countryside Challenge - Credit: Archant

One member from the Harpenden Riding for the Disabled Association Group (RDA) has qualified for the National Championships of the Countryside Challenge.

Adam Sharp won the junior class at the Countryside Challenge eastern region qualifier

Adam Sharp won the junior class at the Countryside Challenge eastern region qualifier - Credit: Archant

Adam Sharp came first in the junior class at the Eastern Regional Qualifiers, held at Oaklands College, to advance to the finals in Gloucestershire in July.

This is the second time that the 12-year-old, who was just one of a number of riders entered, has qualified for the nationals.

He said: “I am really looking forward to the National Championships and to riding Simba again.

“She was brilliant and responded well to my commands.”


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The Countryside Challenge consists of 12 ‘obstacles’ which the rider has to negotiate, such as circling a duck pond and picking an apple and dropping it in a bucket, whilst having full control of the horse.

Mum Jos Sharp said: “It is fantastic to see him doing so well at an activity we first started as a form of physio therapy to strengthen his muscles and improve his balance.

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“He has various disabilities resulting from a brain tumour, so to see him looking so professional on Simba and enjoying the event so much was very emotional.

“The whole volunteer team at RDA do an amazing job, for which I’m very grateful.”

Lesley Stone, Harpenden RDA group instructor, said: “I was very impressed with how well our riders did, especially as the competition was so tough this year.”

The RDA’s horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK.

The Harpenden centre is just on of 500 volunteer groups that organise activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting and show jumping for up to 28,000 people each year.

They are currently looking out for extra volunteers on a Thursday night between 5.30 and 7pm.

If you are interested in helping call Tim on 07778 519 569 or email tim@stagenhoe.co.uk

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