Our open day was a great success! Loads of activities and smiling faces!
Dalemain Club competition
Four drivers with additional needs to part in the club competition at Dalemain House near Penrith on May 12th. Graham Smith won the Novice Class and Finlay McCrae won the Junior class – not bad!
More competition success!
Our coach Stephie White, had a great start to her outdoor competition season last weekend. She won the Pony Pairs class at the North East Driving Trials club competition. Her cracking pair of Dartmoor Hill Ponies – brothers Orlando and Neptune – really excelled themselves at their first outing since last September, including doing the best marathon of the event!
Success at the National Indoor Championships
The Chariots team had a really successful weekend at the National Indoor Championships near Bedford – the culmination of the winter series of competitions, this event had 130 competitors from all over the British Isles. We took 7 drivers, 8 ponies, 7 carriages, 2 artic wagons, 2 camper vans, 1 caravan and numerous members of families and friends to support! The results were terrific – Louise now holds the titles of National Indoor Tandem Champion and Reserve National Open Pony Champion, and only just missed out on the supreme championship by two points. SDU driver Matthew Powell finished 4th in the Novice Junior class, a huge achievement with Finlay McCrae not far behind. Sarah Gemie, Charlotte Thomson and Graham Smith all competed in the Novice class. Sarah was joint first after dressage and cones and achieved one of the best cones rounds of the day. None of them finished in the rosettes but all drove brilliantly and had a great time.
Solway Driving Club
The last competition of the indoor competition season run by the Solway Driving Club has been held. All the champions and some of our disabled drivers have qualified for the National Indoor Finals at Keysoe on April 5 – 7. Good luck to them all!
Outdoor season about to begin …
We are now heading for a busy summer of competition. Our trainers will be out competing around the country from the end of April – hoping to qualify for the National British Carriage Driving Championships in September.
Arena Challenge competitions at Chariots of Fire:
We will be holding 4 Arena Challenge competitions between June and September at Chariots. These are fun competitions – a course of cones and two obstacles to be driven (or ridden) as fast as you like! Go to our Events page for details of dates.
Thanks to The Holywood Trust, The Robertson Trust and Awards for All for supporting the work of Chariots of Fire with grant funding. It is invaluable for our work with young people with disabilities and additional needs.
We can also now supply recycling envelopes for ink cartridges etc through Recycle 4 Charity. Contact Rosemary for envelopes. SDU can get £1 per cartridge – that soon adds up!
Sports Driving Unlimited Wheels to Freedom Appeal
Despite all the best efforts of the charity in trying to raise finance in a myriad of ways, we are always short of available funding. Rosemary and Liza spend hours completing grant applications and volunteers hold events, raffles etc. Can you help at all? Could you organise a fund raising event? Do you know anyone who might like to donate? Do you have any different ideas that we might not have thought of? Do you know of any charitable trusts that SDU might not have discovered yet? If you think you can help in any way at all, please contact us. Phone Rosemary on 01576 610544 or email us. There are a variety of ways you can support SDU while you are shopping too, using Amazon Smile or the Easyfundraising website. Both will give a small percentage of what you spend to our charity. You can also donate direct through Localgiving.
Dartmoor Hill Pony Association
Many of the ponies that we use for all our driving (and riding) activities are from the Dartmoor Hill breed. These are the most fantastic ponies with wonderful natures. Gentle, strong, gutsy, beautiful paces – there’s nothing in the smaller pony world to beat them. They really need support though – they are vital for maintaining Dartmoor’s landscape and provide pleasure for visitors. But there is little general market for them and with indiscriminate breeding, too many foals are born. To save them from suffering, many are simply shot each autumn, which is a tragedy. The solution is simple: contraceptives for the mares, Ponies on the Pill, but the Association urgently needs land to achieve this. Please take a look at their website (http://dartmoorhillpony.com/) and support them in any way you can.