There was a packed Diomed Room donated to us by Epsom Downs Racecourse for the AGM and Annual Awards on Sunday 20 November. Alongside our participants and volunteers with their families, we were delighted to welcome our guests, The Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Gill and Steve Wells from our supporters Epsom Footcare and Paula Jones from RDA South East Region.
The afternoon opened with the formal business of the AGM presented by our Chair, Ray Lee. Ray took the opportunity to thank Tessa Kelly for her support over the last three years as Honorary Secretary. Tessa was stepping down from the role having completed her tenure. At the end of the AGM following approval of the year end financial report, which can be read in the Annual Review and Report, we moved onto the Annual Awards.
The Awards are always an emotional occasion as the Epsom RDA community celebrates the achievements of our participants and the commitment of our volunteers.
It was fabulous to see so many of our participants receiving certificates from the Mayor having successfully passed their riding and horse care Grade tests. Participants also came forward to receive converted trophies awarded by each Session to mark special personal milestones such as being able to hold reins for the first time or being brave enough to try riding a different pony. Certificates and rosettes were presented to our RDA Championships team who competed in the RDA Regional and National Championships to acknowledge their fantastic efforts representing Epsom RDA on the competitive stage. There are too many participants to mention all individually. We are proud of every one of them and look forward to seeing them continuing to progress and having fun.
All this is made possible by our dedicated volunteers who turn up come rain or shine year on year to lead ponies, coach participants and keep our grounds and property in tip top shape. Each year we take the opportunity to highlight those who have gone that extra mile with the Over and Above Awards. This year those receiving certificates presented by the Mayor and Epsom Footcare were:
Liz Yates for going above and beyond with the number of poultices she has applied in 2022!
Mo Blackett for always being on call and on hand to make sure that all of our ponies receive the best possible care and attention
Sandra Ware for leading on gardening for the Sensory Track, always volunteering to help at fundraising events and securing the SGN corporate days.
Many of our volunteers give decades of service to the Group. At the Awards we recognise those who have committed an exceptional amount of their time with the presentation of Long Service certificates. This year there were six recipients who have clocked up a stonking 215 years of service between them:
Sheila Walden 25 years
Norma Sharp 30 years
Sue Downham 35 years
Hilarie Chantler 35 years
Margaret Screech 40 years
Jill Messer 50 years
The award to Jill came with a special thank you and a bouquet of flowers as she takes a step back from leading our Gardening team. We often receive compliments about our beautiful gardens which are inspired by Jill’s eye for colour and grow with the help of her green fingered team. A visible tribute to her decades of commitment to Epsom RDA