A new partnership between Equestrian Australia (EA) and Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia (RDA) is set to help riders with a disability maximise the opportunities available in equestrian sport nationally.
Both organisations have entered in to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the organisations work in partnership to deliver improved outcomes for the sport.
Particular areas of focus will include recognising RDA competition as a pathway to Para-Equestrian; development of a joint equestrian classification process which will increase opportunities for riders with disabilities to become classified for competition; recognition of prior learning opportunities for coaches of each organisation, as well as sharing of educational resources.
In signing the MOU, RDA also becomes a support partner of the junior program Ready Set Trot with RDA affiliated centres now able to offer the program and use it as a way to fundraise for their club.
Equestrian Australia CEO Grant Baldock said EA and RDA shared a number of common purposes and the MOU would lead to improved outcomes for athletes with a disability and the sport as a whole.
“The MOU between Equestrian Australia and Riding for the Disabled will lead to closer cooperation on many levels, from participation and development to education and high performance.
“EA recognises the role that RDA plays in the pathway to Para-Equestrian competition and the MOU will see both organisations working collaboratively to increase the opportunities for riders with disabilities to become classified for competition.
“RDA has long been a training ground for Australia’s Para-Equestrians with many of our leading riders starting out with RDA. The signing of the MOU will make it easier for those athletes who want to take that next step in the competition pathway.”
As a Ready Set Trot support Partner RDA will open the door to increasing the reach of this program, while also assisting centres to raise vital funds.
“Equestrian Australia recognises the importance of establishing relationships with other equine groups, including Pony Club Australia and now RDA. The MOUs we have in place with both organisations is about making our sport more accessible for people to participate in.
RDA Executive Officer Karen Asprey said, “This MOU represents a new era of cooperative relationships between RDA and Equestrian Australia and the outcomes can only increase the opportunities and benefits for riders. We look forward to collaborating on new and exciting projects and strengthening the relationship between our two organisations.
“Specifically this is a great opportunity to provide riders with a smooth transition and pathway to higher level equestrian training and competition performance in the national and international arena.”
Paralympic gold medallist Joann Formosa attributed her success on the international stage to the support of RDA and EA.
“I’m forever grateful to both organisations for their assistance to getting me to where I am today.
“Through RDA I was able to get back into riding after my accident and their support of me during that transition period was invaluable. It was at the RDA Nationals that I was first identified and encouraged to be graded as a Para-Equestrian. Since then, the support that I’ve received from EA has helped me to achieve my goals.
“I am happy to hear that EA and RDA will be working closely for the benefit of riders with a disability.”
By Equestrian Australia