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Local young riders demonstrate their skills at Caithness RDA Summer Show


By Jean Gunn

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Jo Sutherland, on Ollie, was unable to attend the show so she received her Games Trophy for the best rider in Ride 3 the previous week
Jo Sutherland, on Ollie, was unable to attend the show so she received her Games Trophy for the best rider in Ride 3 the previous week

Caithness Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) held its annual Summer Show recently at the Indoor Riding Centre in Halkirk.

Due to unfavourable weather the activities stayed inside on the day, however, the group have managed a few sessions outdoors in Maggie’s Way this term.

Judith Miller, chairperson welcomed everyone along with a special welcome to honorary president Morag Miller. Mrs Miller presented a long-service medal to Wren, and his owner Marie Brinded.

Wren has been an old faithful with the RDA for the last 10 years helping many children along the way. After celebrating his 30th birthday last month, the popular pony was retired from work with the local group.

Barbara Manson, regional chair for Grampian and Highland RDA also recently handed over long-service awards to some of the volunteers.

A number of ponies were loaned to the group for the sessions – Cammie owned by Mel Thomson, Ollie, from Liz and Erin Hewitson, Whisky and Byron from Steph Cowe, and Max and Geordie belonging to Marion Bain at Achalone Activities.

The first ride, with Leeann Hope as coach, comprised of pupils from Wick High School – Jonathon Newlands on Whisky, Ben Douglas on Ollie, Aden Herrick on Max, Melissa Lee on Geordie, and Laurie McPhee did horse and pony care.

After showing off their skills to parents/carers and invited guests, George Wilson and Jim Beattie from the Northern Sovereign Council presented trophies and rosettes to each of the participants in Ride 1.

From left to right: Regional chair for Grampian and Highland RDA Barbara Manson handed over long-service awards to Gladys Gunn, Moira Stephen and Helen Harper for over 30 years volunteering with Caithness RDA. Missing from the photograph are Jessie Allan and Nora Manson.
From left to right: Regional chair for Grampian and Highland RDA Barbara Manson handed over long-service awards to Gladys Gunn, Moira Stephen and Helen Harper for over 30 years volunteering with Caithness RDA. Missing from the photograph are Jessie Allan and Nora Manson.

Thurso High School pupils made up the second ride, with Mary Elder as coach. The riders were Jimmy Gunn on Ollie, Lucas Scott on Cammie, Summer Spink on Whisky, Joseph White on Geordie and Kian Davidson on Max.

After showing off their skills, these riders received trophies from Kathleen Omand, Orkney, and rosettes from Abbie Leonard representing NFU Mutual Insurance, Dingwall and Thurso agency.

Kathleen’s mother, Evelyn Oakton passed away in December 2021 and her funeral collection was donated to Caithness RDA. Evelyn was a founder member and great volunteer for many years, and in her memory the Caithness group has purchased a new trophy – the Evelyn Oakton Memorial Shield – which was presented by her daughter.

The third ride comprised of Kaleb Dyer on Max, Pebbles Sawyer on Geordie, and Daisy Southall on Byron – with Steph Cowe as coach. The participants all showed off their riding skills to everyone. Missing on the day was Jo Sutherland who received her award the previous week.

Trophies and rosettes were handed over by Heather Rosie, and her daughter Claire, who recently picked up the fundraiser of the year award at the Highland Heroes presentation in Inverness, on behalf of her mum.

Caithness RDA are extremely grateful to Heather and family, of the Dale Rosie Memorial Fund for all their fundraising efforts over the years, and to everyone who has kindly donated in the past.

Thanks was also given to Nettie Gunn for loan of a barbecue and for setting up each week, Keith Dreaves and Alan Hewitson for manning the barbecue, and Isobel Cameron who keeps everyone watered and fed each week.

Results

Ride 1 – Reid Trophy for endeavour: Laurie McPhee. Christmas Show Riding Award for endeavour: Jonathon Newlands. Halkirk Young Farmers Christmas Trophy for most improved: Aden Herrick. Karen Rollinson Memorial Trophy for best rider: Melissa Lee. Wick High School Charities Day Cup 2013 for progress: Ben Douglas.

Ride 2 – Riding award for most improved: Joseph White. Dr Pam McMorran Memorial

Shield (Summer Show) for achievement: Jimmy Gunn. Amanda MacDonald Memorial Shield for best rider: Lucas Scott. John Gunn and Sons Perpetual Trophy for effort: Summer Spink. Evelyn Oakton Memorial Shield for commitment Kian Davidson.

Ride 3 – Dr Pam McMorran Memorial Shield (Summer Show) for bravest rider: Pebbles Sawyer. Simpson Cup for most improved rider: Caleb Dyer. Cup in loving memory of Callum Robert Miller for happiest rider: Daisy Southall. Games Trophy for best rider: Jo Sutherland


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