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Funds Raised - Facilities Improved

Representatives of the Burnham Lions visit the group and see their donation in action

Skylights The new skylights have been a great benefit over the winter months. We have managed to pay for half the skylights with donations from groups and individuals.

Skylight supporters include the Burnham Lions, who raised £1,250 for the group, from a sponsored cycle ride in June 2006. £1,000 of this has gone towards the new skylights, with the balance paying for five new riding hats. Six Burnham Lions visited the group in January, and they're pictured on the right, with riders and helpers from a Saturday morning riding session, underneath the super new skylights.

We still need to raise £4,500 to cover the costs. Do you know someone, or an organisation, that might be interested in making a donation towards this? All benefactors will be recognised in our official record. Please see Di if you can help.

Outdoor Arena The project to rebuild our outdoor riding arena, which at twenty years of age had, sadly, reached the end of its safe useful life, is finally complete. This was an expensive and major project, for the group, especially as we need the all-weather surface to be good for ponies and horses - and humans! A huge thank you to everyone who helped fundraise for this £43,000 project: the largest sums raised were £20,000 through the SITA Trust Enhancing Communities Programme, and a generous donation of £13,000 from the Eranda Foundation.

Helpers

A big thank you goes to all our volunteers who support our two members of staff. South Bucks RDA cannot function without you. We are saying good-bye to one group, the 'Eton Boys', who have been helping on a Monday afternoon as part of their 'Service in the Community'. As school exams loom they have to stop helping to revise! Are there any experienced adult helpers interested in developing their skills and becoming instructors? If you are please speak to Di. We will support training.

RDA Competitions

Dressage and Handy Pony We will be holding mini trials within rides for those who are eligible for dressage and handy pony competitions. The new handy pony course this year is 'A walk around the farmyard'. It will be erected at the end of April. Please talk to your instructor if you are interested in an in-house trial for the Regional Show on June 3rd.

Photo Competition This is open to anyone connected with RDA. Entry forms are available on request. The closing date is Oct 1st 2007. The four categories are: Typical RDA activity, Learning, Individual rider/driver, and Spirit of RDA.

Arts and Crafts Competition This is open to either individual riders or groups of riders. The closing date is May. The entries should depict RDA (in its broadest sense). Entry forms will be available on request from Nicky Barrett.

Musical Ride The 1.15 ride on Saturday are hoping to enter this competition, with a drill ride, once everyone has learnt to go the correct way!

Arrivals

Group Riders' Representative, Rory Williams, welcomes Lambrusco III to South Bucks RDA

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Oyster and Lambrusco, two horses for the sports riders. We now have four sports horses owned by, or on loan to, specific riders. They have been competing hard during December, January and February in order to gain places on the Start, Potential and Elite Squads.

Security

Despite all our efforts we are still having frequent attacks on cars. Please make sure that you do not leave valuables on display in cars or items that look as if they have valuables in them. We have had a new burglar alarm installed recently.

Safety

Please can we remind all car drivers to arrive and leave slowly. At ride change over time, there are lots of people and horses moving around. If you are late, be patient, horses and leaders must have priority. All riders need to have coats done up, and remember as the summer comes, long trousers or jodhpurs are still a must. All footwear should have a definite heel. We do have a loan service for boots and jodhpurs.

South Bucks RDA Clothing

We now have the following types of South Bucks RDA clothing available:

Polo shirts from £11-15

Sweat Shirts from £13 -17

Body Warmers/Gilets at £23.50 for adult sizes, £20.00 for child sizes

Please see Di or Heather to order.

Fundraising

We continue to need to fund raise, and a number of helpers, rider's family members and friends have promised to go the extra… in order to raise funds for the group. Can you help sponsor at least one of them? Please pass the news around your friends.

Flora London Marathon Richard Dewire, partner of group rider Kate MacGregor, is running the Flora London Marathon on 22nd April to raise money for South Bucks RDA Group. All the monies Rich raises will come to the group. As I'm sure you're aware, the Flora London Marathon is a very serious undertaking - although, perhaps not quite as risk-laden as the Atlantic rowing race that Rich took part in during 2005...

...in which he and his rowing partner came an impressive fourth.

We are thrilled and excited that Rich has offered to run for the group - places on the London Marathon are tightly limited and very few runners who apply actually manage to get the opportunity to run. Please support Rich, and South Bucks RDA Group, by encouraging your friends, family and work colleagues to sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/NoMoreRowingForRich

Rich is hoping to raise £2,000 for the group. Please donate, if you can, and please spread the word.

The Great British Run Chris Tolmie and Dean Williams have again agreed to run in this 10k trip around the sights of London. All monies raised will go to the group. We hope that one or two others from the group will join them.

Music makes money for South Bucks RDA

Generous donations from the Orchard Academy and Hitachi Data Systems

Group rider, Melissa Orchard's parents raised £800 for the group, during the showcase performance from their Orchard Academy of music and dance. They then raised a further £200 from Hitachi Data Systems - making a generous total of £1,000 towards the running costs of the group. Melissa is pictured with gorgeous George, on the right, with her mum and Group Chairman, Di Redfern, and a couple of huge cheques.

Name Labels

By ordering name labels through Easy2name, you will save yourself hours of work with these easy to apply transfer labels for school clothes. The group will receive a donation on every order made via the group's order forms.

Tombola Prizes

We will again be having a Tombola stall at Fulmer Fun Day. Donations of prizes can be left at the stables by June 28th. Helpers on the 30th June to run the stall will also be needed. Please see Di if you can help on the day.

Dates for the Diary

Saturday 28 April - Horse-related Bric-a-brac sale at the Black Horse Fulmer in aid of South Bucks RDA and RSPCA

Sunday 03 June - RDA South Regional Show

Saturday 30 June - Fulmer Fun Day

Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 July - RDA National Championships at Hartpury

Thank you very much...

...to Christie & Co in London for printing this newsletter in colour...

...and, to ALL of our volunteers and supporters!