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Brave West Norfolk rider raises funds for RDA buddies



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A volunteer at the Magpie Centre, home of West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled, faced her worst fears last week to raise funds for four of its riders.

Despite a bad fall, which left her confidence shaken, Claire Steel, undertook a sponsored ride round her paddock on each of her two cobs, Billy and Gracie, to raise the impressive total of £1,250.

Claire said: "I was really scared because, since my fall, I have only ridden in the arena, but both horses behaved perfectly.’

From left: Gracie, Aynsley Calvert, Claire Steel and Billy. Picture: Rachel Hurcomb Photography
From left: Gracie, Aynsley Calvert, Claire Steel and Billy. Picture: Rachel Hurcomb Photography

She was helped by Katie Mitchell, of TT Sports Horses, and said: "I’d like to say a huge thank you to everybody who sponsored me, especially TT Sports Horses and Dinky Ponies of Tilney St Lawrence."

Katie, Claire’s riding instructor, was impressed with how Gracie handled the situation.

"The horse is still young and green, but she remained relaxed throughout, although there were lots of people clapping and taking photos," said Katie.

Claire and Katie Scott on a lap of the field. Picture: Rachel Hurcombe Photography
Claire and Katie Scott on a lap of the field. Picture: Rachel Hurcombe Photography

Claire's money has had a big impact of RDA riders Rob Baldwin, Aynsley Calvert, Annabel Glegg and Michelle Alflatt who triumphed at the regional heats, held at Milton College, near Cambridge, in May to secure places in the RDA National Dressage championships, scheduled for July 15 to 17 at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.

But competing at the Nationals doesn’t come cheap. Although the riders pay their own entry fees, plus transport and accommodation for the weekend, the costs of horse transport, stabling and staff accommodation still have to be funded.

Aynsley has run tombolas at recent events, and he, Annabel and Michelle raised more than £200 with a chocolate tombola at the Magpie Centre craft fair on June 25. With the fruits of Claire’s efforts, their costs will now be covered.



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