Twenty-nine talented Pony Club Members from across the country made their way to Rider Development Pathway (RDP) Camp, supported by the Sport England funded BEF Excel Talent Programme, at Somerford Park in Cheshire July 2-3 for a weekend of top class coaching in their chosen discipline of Dressage, Show Jumping or Eventing.
The riders were selected for the RDP Camp following ten Regional Assessment Days, and worked throughout the weekend with recognised and experienced coaches, including Harry Payne (Dressage), Gary Parsonage (Eventing) and Philippa Curry (Show Jumping).
Other industry experts worked holistically on all aspects of the riders’ performance, including one to one mentoring and goal setting with Pat Crann, and balance and position work to analyse position and technique with Hilary Wakefield. There was also an evening lecture by Veterinary Physiotherapist Gemma Woolley who gave useful advice and tips on the care of the modern sports horse. Gemma explained how physiotherapy can help horses and how to identify when it is needed, before showing the riders some techniques they can use to improve their horses’ musculoskeletal health.
At the end of the RDP Camp, a final six riders were selected to be part of the RDP Squad. They will receive further individual support and guidance for future development and training opportunities.
RDP Squad riders are as follows:
Sophie Quarterman – North Cornwall
Rachel Lade – Cotswold Hunt
Oliver Grainge – East Sussex
Ossian Fletcher – Holderness Hunt*
Hannah Graves – Cumberland Farmers’ Hunt North
Lauren Bellamy – Isle of Man
Twenty-one year old Rachel Lade, who has been a Member of The Pony Club since the age of 12, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected for the RDP Squad. I had second thoughts about applying, but I am so glad that I did!” Rachel continued to talk about what a great time she had had at the Selection Day and at RDP Camp, and how much she enjoyed the excellent coaching and facilities. “I can’t wait to make the most of being on the squad!” She commented.
Show Jumper Ossian Fletcher, aged 14, said: “It is a fantastic privilege to be selected for the RDP Squad! I am very proud and excited, and keen to maximise every opportunity I can whilst in the squad.”
Going forwards, those selected for the RDP Squad will work with an experienced mentor who will continue to develop their progression and training within their discipline, as well as receiving funding for training and other bespoke training opportunities. All riders who attended the RDP will be encouraged to attend further training and national and international competitions with further input from selected coaches.
The RDP has an active Facebook page where you can view pictures from the training days and camp: www.facebook.com/PCRDP?ref=hl