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News & Updates

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Many thanks goes to Adrian Langford and Derek Roper who presented us with a very generous donation of £6,500.  

A big THANK YOU to Sussex Community Foundation


Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to Jenny, one of our longest serving volunteers, who celebrated a milestone birthday this month at The Sportsman in Goddard's Green, Hassocks.

Sussex Masonics Charitable Foundation CIO
Many thanks for your generous contribution towards William!


Participant of the Year Award


"In recognition of her enthusiasm and delight in riding as well as her interest & encouragement of others"

Zia Hussein

After being on the waiting list for over a year Zia was delighted to take up a cancellation space in October 2019 and accepted a permanent place a month later.  Zia was  in her final year of university when multiple sclerosis was diagnosed.  She said it "stole my independence, my mobility and my confidence"  Now she walks with great difficulty, with two sticks and uses a wheelchair.  Our hydraulic lift was ideal for mounting.  Balance in the saddle was  difficult for Zia as her core muscle strength was extremely poor and both legs were weak, especially the right one.  We needed two side walkers and a volunteer walking behind to continuously check her position, because her whole body swung from side to side as the horse moved.  There was a concern that we might not be able to help her.  Yet she enjoyed this first lesson so much, and promised that she would practise the exercises given to her to do at home, we felt we should persevere.


Just as we were beginning to see improvements Covid struck and Zia was upset that riding had to stop. 

Once we were allowed to have independent riders with one bubble member or carer, we brought Zia back for a trial,and using her carer husband on the hydraulic platform and then as a side walker, we decided it was safe. She had been doing her home exercises and was so delighted to be back.  Her smile made us all feel better. 


Despite the gaps in lessons because of the lockdowns, Zia made incredible progress.  Her side tilting disappeared and she managed a beautifully balanced sitting trot (led).  She bought a small mechanical saddle on which to practise her exercises at home.  It was Zia’s enthusiasm and her delight in riding, her interest and encouragement to other riders that impressed us all.  Zia picks up with gratitude any rider cancellations that appear, often at the last minute.  


Here are her words:  "It was a fantastic feeling, going from 3ft off the ground to 7ft.  My posture is now positive and erect (impressing my physiotherapist) and I have good balance.  My overall confidence is boosted  and I come away with a feeling of accomplishment and achievement.  When I am riding I am free!"  No wonder Zia makes us all feel proud. 

Volunteer of the Year Award

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"In recognition for her tireless dedication"

Ruby Grimshaw

Ruby joined Mid Sussex RDA in 2011 as an already very experienced BHSAI Coach and soon became a RDA Coach.  She has also been our Chair for the last 6 years.


Ruby works tirelessly for the benefit of the Group in and out of hours.  She was a tower of strength during COVID, arranging weekly Zoom Meetings to keep everyone in touch and working very hard when it was time to return, getting riders and volunteers organised, along with all the required extra paperwork and making sure everyone knew what was required of them under very difficult circumstances.  We were one of the first Groups to return.


Recently she oversaw the purchase of a new horse (William) for our Group, taking almost sole responsibility for the purchase and subsequent arrangements and necessary checks and paperwork involved in what was quite a huge step for us as a Group. 


She really is the best Coach and the riders (and volunteers) all enjoy her lessons and she always keeps everyone on their toes whilst also injecting her own form of humour into her coaching.

Sapphire Long Service Award

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Jenny was one of the first members of the Mid Sussex RDA and helped to set it up in the late '60s.  She was the cornerstone of the group, calm and dependable, always dispensing practical advice and very knowledgeable about horses and their welfare.


Jenny has been coaching all this time since then and so helpful and kind to newcomers.  Jenny has a wonderful sense of humour and is a delight to have around.


Although she has decided to step back from coaching now it is a relief to our group that she will stay on as a volunteer. It is so reassuring to know there is someone with such experience and knowledge watching our backs.  She never misses a trick!

"In recognition of 45 years with RDA."

Spring 2023 Term Dates


Jan 10th

Jan 17th

Jan 24th

Jan 31st

Feb 7th

Feb 14th

Feb 21st

Feb 28th

Mar 7th

Mar 14th

Mar 21st

Mar 28th


Jan 12th

Jan 19th

Jan 26th

Feb 2nd 

Feb 9th

Feb 16th

Feb 23rd

Mar 2nd

Mar 9th

Mar 16th

Mar 23rd

Mar 30th



07780 994867

Our stall at Ditchling Fair was a roaring success!!  We raised around £550 which will buy lots of hay and carrots for William.

The Fair's theme was Joy & Jubilation and with the sun shining it certainly was a magical fun day.  Our naughty pantomime horse, Shergar escaped into the crowd and got up to all sorts but thankfully stayed away from the bakes.  

A very big thank you to our riders, carers, volunteers, family, friends and neighbours who baked their way through the heatwave.   We had a wonderful supply of cakes, biscuits and bread.  A special thank you goes to Emma and Kitty who added their sparkle to our stall by providing glitter tattoos.  

Congratulations to the winner (Hester) of our Summer Picnic Hamper in the raffle.

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