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During 2012 your FDC Charity Committee identified RDA (Riding for the Disabled) as a suitable charity and has elected to support their network of centres throughout Australia. RDA NSW has been the initial point of contact and three of their centres have provided details of requirements, two of which we have been able to assist with so far.

The first request came from Manning Great Lakes RDA Centre for furniture which we were able to source from the strip out of Building A from the Qantas refurbishment project (thanks Qantas). Proud Transport were enlisted to help and generously contained costs and managed the collection and delivery of desks, chairs and whiteboards. (FDC thanks Proud Transport for their assistance and recommends this company to anyone looking for a removalist anywhere between Coffs Harbour and Canberra). Margaret Norman (NSW Director) also added her thanks on behalf of RDA and the Manning Great Lakes centre.

FDC Charity Committee members Peter Thomson, Kelly Trimmer, Tim Bainbridge and Mike Whelan visited the Ryde RDA centre to see one of their centres in action and were welcomed with home cooked scones, cream and jam (yummy!!!). During our tour of the facility we learned of a recent accident involving one of their horses who had managed to wedge itself under its corral fencing. Unfortunately the horse later died due to injuries it received during the ordeal. We were shown the damage where the caretaker who discovered the entangled horse had had to cut through the fence to release it. Later the FDC charity committee decided that we could assist by replacing the rails which were sourced from Swadlings Timber & Hardware at a generous discount.

Although Kelly Trimmer couldn’t be lured onto the ‘wooden’ training horse, we did discover that they were in the process of ‘trialing’ a new horse for the centre which, because of the accident, was very timely. RDA horses must have the quietest of temperaments for their special riders, and also need to be tested for their willingness to behave in this educational and supportive environment. Jeht (the horse) was at his last stage of approval from all of the senior instructors and if he passed, they would be hoping to find funds to acquire him. The FDC charity committee was excited by the opportunity to participate in such a tangible manner and subsequently approached their Ryde representative with an offer to donate funds for RDA to acquire Jeht, an offer which was well received. As expected Jeht passed his tests and Peter Thomson attended Jeht’s inaugural class as an official RDA horse (pictures below) and Jeht continues to be their leading recruit!

We have an existing request for storage, tables and a trailer for the Kendall RDA Centre and we will be looking to secure some furniture from a site strip out in the near future. Please let Mike Whelan know if anyone has a small trailer (registration not required) suitable for use in the centre’s paddocks that they are happy to donate.