Westmorland Group 40th Anniversary

On 1 July 2018 the Westmorland Group volunteers celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Group. Our party was held in beautiful gardens with stunning views, and we were blessed with glorious sunshine. Cathy, our elegant Chair, gave us a potted history of the Group from it’s origins. Volunteers brought yummy cheeses and cakes and, of course, there were lashings of strawberries and cream.

Calvert Trust

Calvert Trust Workshop

On 22 June 2018, the impressive Calvert Trust equine facility hosted a training session for the RDA Northern Region entitled ‘Coaching – What, How and Why’. Henri Carew, RDA County Chair, and Careth de Gruyther, RDA County Coach presented the session. Coaches and volunteers from groups across the Region were present with (l to r) Jenny Harris, Hazel Turner, Carolyn Holden and Annette Pouslom representing Westmorland Group. Carolyn writes:

RDA provides training for those volunteers interested in progressing their learning or simply to add confidence to what may come naturally. This support, in turn, will help the RDA groups to provide the best assistance to its riders.

I had the opportunity to join one of these workshops/ training sessions with the very knowledgeable Jenny Harris, Annette Poulson and Hazel Turner so the drive up to Keswick to the wonderful venue at the Calvert Trust was an education in itself.

How useful to mix with like-minded people and to see the wonderful work being done in Keswick. Practical demonstrations reinforced the learning and made the whole a most enjoyable outing. The look around the facilities was also interesting. All thought-provoking and useful knowledge in the fields of leading and coaching rising trot, as well as fun games.

The views from the venue on a beautiful blue sky day ensured that the whole occasion will sit happily in the mind, as well as the learning!

Carolyn Holden


A weally, weally good night!

RDA benefits from Wocket Woy and the Pwoducer with North West Equine Vets

On a cold night in Cumbria, the team at North West Equine Vets held an evening of fun and frivolity to raise money for Riding for the Disabled with a packed house of supporters. The night raised over £3,000 and was supported by local organisations and sponsored by Chanelle Vet UK. The evening’s highlight featured Wocket Woy and the Pwoducer, AKA horse racing jump jockey and Chanelle representative Mattie Batchelor and fellow jump jockey Marc Goldstein. They had a lively rapport with the audience, showing some of the sketches that have made them so popular with the public. The evening featured a race night, with generously donated items in a raffle alongside food and merriment.

North West Equine Vets’ Practice Director, Jane King, said ‘We were delighted to host an evening with Wocket Woy and The Pwoducer. It provided the perfect opportunity to raise funds for our local Riding for the Disabled branches and is an evening which will never be forgotten.’ Gareth Carr, Commercial Manager, Chanelle Vet UK, added ‘This was a great opportunity for us to add our support to a practice helping their local community, and we understand the key role a practice can play. We are pleased the evening was a resounding success and helped to raise money for a worthy cause.’

The money raised was divided between RDA Westmorland Group and RDA Furness Group. We are very grateful to North West Equine Vets and Chanelle Vet UK for their enterprise and generousity.

ASDA Green tokens

ASDA Green Tokens

ASDA, Kendal, held a Green Token scheme where customers used the tokens to register support for local charities and organisations. Our young rider, Ella, and her mum, Claire, nominated Westmorland RDA as candidate for the scheme. In April 2018, we were presented with a cheque for £200.00. Our thanks to Ella, Claire and ASDA, Kendal.

Pictured are: Ella holding the cheque; l to r: Ian Reid; Cathy Broomfield, our Chair, Ben Welcher, ASDA General Store Manager; Claire Dixon, Ella’s Mum and Rachel Maplethorpe.

Careth demonstrating tacking up

Careth demonstrating tacking up

Training at Holmescales

On Monday, 12 March 2018, the riding group had an in-house training session at Holmescales Riding Centre. Henri Carew, RDA County Chair, and Careth de Gruyther, RDA County Coach, led the training. We recapped on the green card, demonstrating tacking up the ponies, leading and sidewalking. All of this is very necessary to keep us helpers up to date and refresh our memories. These training sessions are always good as it gives us a chance to ask questions about anything we are unsure of.

Thanks to all those who could come along, and to Henri and Careth for their time and making this an interesting and valuable training session.

Annette Poulsom

2018 dates for your diary


10 March, 6.00pm
Rotary Club Swimathon, Kendal Leisure.
Our RDA team, The Seahorses, will be taking part. Come along and cheer them on!
12 March
Training day
19 March
Afternoon riding starts
1 July
2.00 pm Westmorland Group helpers’ 40th birthday afternoon tea at High Park Barn
July TBA
Scottish carriage driving fun day and BBQ
13-15 July
RDA National Championships, Hartpury College, Gloucestershire
16 July
Holmescales last Summer ride and riders’ 40th anniversary party
23 July
Stable Day, Witherslack
20-24 August
RDA carriage driving holiday, York
13 September
Westmorland County Show
October TBA
RDA Westmorland Group Ltd AGM
See our website for further details:
10 November
RDA National AGM, Saddlers Hall, London

Christmas Tree Festival

Kendal Parish Church kindly hosted its 6th Christmas Tree Festival, where 40 local charities and organisations were allocated a handsome tree to decorate in their own style. The church looked beautiful and held a series of concerts, which encouraged people to come inside and donate.

The theme was ‘fairy tales’. Since not many feature horses and ponies, we stretched a point and chose ‘Black Beauty’ for our tree. The children were given wooden horses to decorate and, unsurprisingly, displayed an extremely liberal interpretation of ‘Black’. There were lots of sparkles and even a unicorn with feathered wings courtesy of James.

The Festival raised £4,500 overall, and our tree raised £90.47 for RDA Westmorland Group.