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12 September 2019

Congratulations to Park Lane Stables RDA Group who has been shortlisted for the 2019 Carriage Driving Awards in the “Driving for the Disabled” Group of the Year. We wish them every success for the awards which will be announced in November.  Up against only two other nominations, this is already an incredible achievement and recognition of the fantastic work they do. 

You’ve probably seen their carriage as a regular at local events, so you’ll be surprised to hear that the RDA Carriage Driving Group has only been running for a couple of years. In 2017 the Park Lane Stables RDA Group were turning away participants because – due to the nature/severity of their disability or their weight – they were unable to ride.  Feeling that this wasn’t fair – everybody should be allowed to experience the joy and therapeutic benefits that horses bring – they set about creating their RDA Carriage Driving group. 

Daniel competing at the Royal Windsor Show

After 12 months of hard work, fundraising, training, teamwork and a lot of support, they were ready to go in the summer of 2018. H&L Motors were delighted to commission a wheelchair-accessible carriage (Harriet the Chariot) for this ambitious project and thanks to the LBRuT Civic Pride Fund they had Sam the carriage horse. 

At the end of 2018, Park Lane Stables set a target for their Carriage Drivers to enter their first ever competition to gain experience and build their confidence. On 28 April 2019, RDA participant Harry and his young coach James entered the BDS West Sussex Show and James came away with a fourth place rosette. 

Just one week later on 9 May, a more confident Harry (who has Asperger’s) and Daniel (who is registered blind and has learning difficulties and anxiety issues) went on to enter the Carriage Driving competition at the prestigious Royal Windsor Show. This time Harry came away with second prize!  And since then The Carriage Drivers have continued to do well at the RDA National Championships in Gloucestershire in and the Chertsey Show in July!

It’s so heart-warming to see the Park Lane Stable team develop and provide such an incredible resource to young riders of all abilities.