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Riding for the Disabled Association facts for kids

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The Riding for the Disabled Association, also known as the RDA is a United Kingdom based charity focused on providing horse-riding and carriage driving lessons to people with both developmental and physical disabilities. The RDA is a federation of about 500 independent groups and serves over 26,500 adults and children each year.

In addition to running international operations, the RDA is also a member of the international umbrella group, the Federation of Riding for the Disabled International. RDA Centres operate in over 45 countries including Australia (130 centres), Brasil, Canada (80 centres), Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand (55 centres), Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, and the United States. In the UK, the association is one of 16 members that make up the British Equestrian Federation.


Therapeutic horseback riding became popular across Europe after Lis Hartel, despite being paralyzed from the knees down by polio, won the silver medal for Individual Dressage at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Her success inspired therapeutic horseback riding organizations to be created across Europe, and 23 were present in the United Kingdom by 1966. In 1964, a loose organization called the Advisory Council on Riding for the Disabled was formed to coordinate these groups, and in 1969 it was organized into the Riding for the Disabled Association. Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk was its first president and Princess Anne its patron. In 1976, Anne became the RDA's president.

In 2019, the RDA celebrated its 50th anniversary at Hartpury College.

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Riding for the Disabled Association Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.