A RIDING team from Welburn Hall School near Kirkbymoorside have competed in an equestrian contest virtually.

The Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Team Welburn took part in the Riding for the Disabled Virtual National Championships.

The National Championships traditionally bring together hundreds of competitors of all abilities in events, including carriage driving, countryside challenge, dressage, showjumping, vaulting and showing, however due to the covid pandemic this has not been possible again for a second year.

Elspeth Crookenden, from the RDA Team Welburn, said

“We have had to build a course to try to Simulate Championship level.

“The Championships are usually held at Hartpury in Gloucestershire.

She added: “After Covid 19 less than half the RDA Groups Nationally have managed to re-start riding.

“ We at Welburn started again after the first lockdown with masks and social distancing.”

Elspeth said: “We entered the Regional Competition for The Countryside Challenge in May with four riders.

“Our partially sighted rider Destinie achieved the top score over all of 83.5% and won her class.

“Nathan came 1st the led class with 82% and Alice 2nd with 73% and Theo 3rd with 71%.

“The top two of each class qualify for the Championships providing their score is over 65%.”

Elspeth added: “We have two lovely veteran ponies Archie a retired hunter aged 24 and Sebastian a beautiful pony who we saved from being put down also aged 24 who carried the riders to victory.

“I am lucky to have a really good and competent team of volunteers to lead and sidewalk with the riders and also the most difficult job of all videoing the riders completing the course.”

The Welburn Hall riding group works with children aged 18 and under and pre-pandemic attended regional finals and national competitions for dressage as organised by the RDA. It has also become a show jumping group and an endurance group.

For more information phone 01751 432143