our Three wonderful ponies
We have 3 trained ponies that are used regularly. They are brought in by our volunteers.
Flash is a welsh Section D who belongs to Trish Lebus, one of the groups's CD Coaches. When not at Happy Landings, she is used for Club driving trails and competing in France. A well travelled girl.
Rocky is the newest member of the team. he was bred by and owned by Deirdre Mellor, another of our CD Coaches, where he lives with Misty. A very popular steady drive.
Misty belongs to the Group and lives with Rocky. Misty has been with the Group since 2014 and has a lovely speedy trot much loved by the drivers.
Thank you to Arthur, who has retired in 2020
I bought Arthur in May 2000 when he was aged 9, within 6 weeks he was assessed and passed as an RDA pony, he then started his weekly mornings with the group.
Arthur had never competed at driving trials so we started competing in club driving trials. In August of that year we were asked to join the British team to go to the World Championships for disabled drivers being held in Austria. What a baptism of fire!! Following a very eventful trip out to Austria we arrived in the middle of a heatwave. To the surprise of everyone the British pinto pony won the dressage and then did a double clear in the cones, the Germans weren’t used to coloured ponies. After a steady marathon as neither Arthur nor I had had much experience the team managed a silver medal only a few marks behind the winners Germany
Arthur continued his RDA Wednesday morning duties as well as competing at weekends, he also competed at all the RDA competitions and displays that the group were involved in with different RDA drivers.
In 2002 we were once again in the British team this time the competition was in Germany Arthur went very well until the prize giving when we had to do a lap of honour with the team all in a line, this was too much for Arthur who decided to start bucking and had to be hastily removed from the arena!
The following year I bought another pony to drive as a pair with Arthur unfortunately he was too strong to be used as an RDA pony and I competed with them for the next few years.
In 2004 we were representing GB in the world championships at Hopetown in Scotland and won the silver medal there.
Arthur never really liked being in a pair even though he soon realised that if he was a little slower than his pair he didn’t have to do any work! When the other pony went lame I retired from competing and apart from his RDA work I kept him exercised at home.
During the 20 years I have had him he has done everything, apart from competing he has also done quite a few weddings, taught my 3 grandchildren to ride and one funeral, plus displays at local fetes right up to county shows, not bad for a gypsy pony from Cumbria!
For the last few years he has been taking the more disabled drivers who do not want to go so fast and this year at the age of 29 he has been retired from RDA having done 20 years we feel he has done his bit. He has retired fit and well and is still being ridden regularly.
Written by Carol Porter