On Saturday 10th December we held our annual Carol Service. The staff and volunteers did a fantastic job to dress all the riders, and the horses to match, to act out the nativity to carols. The riders all did an amazing job and made the Christmas story come alive. As is traditional Tawny played the donkey. We had two first timers Jaybee, who was one of the three kings with Nicco and Fergus, and Boycie, who was a shepherd. Both behaved impeccably. A big thank you to the Bishop of Chelmsford and Highwood Community Choir for supporting us. But we need to make a special mention of our two wonderful soloists, Saturday riders Charlotte and Rebecca. We also could not perform the Christmas story without the careful narration of William who has been riding with us for nearly 30 years.
We are trying to raise £40000 in our 40th year to ensure that we can keep providing the opportunity to take part in equestrian sport to over 100 riders a week, like Emma pictured here. Barrow Farm provides specialist equipment and coaches so that children and adults with specific difficulties have the opportunity to take part in a social and physical activity. Often these riders do not get the same opportunities to participate in sport that others do. Emma loves the independence of riding, she loves discussing her progress with her two fellow riders and friends Sophie and Becks and she also loves competing.
To help us keep providing these great opportunities to riders like Emma text PONY40 £4 to 70070 to donate £4 to Barrow Farm RDA.
A big thank you to Gill for planning and organising our entry for the Writtle Christmas Tree festival again this year. The tree was inspired by 40 years of riding high at Barrow Farm and was covered in photos from our 40 year history. There were lots of lovely comments from visitors to the festival and the tree can now be seen in the waiting room at Barrow Farm.
We are very proud to announce that Livvy (Junior Coach) and Taylor (Apprentice) have both received their RDA Group Coach awards. To complete this they have to undertake an initial assessment, then complete at least 20 hours of coaching, which is followed by a second assessment. Many of you will recognise the RDA Essex County Coach (as she is one of our coaches, Kath Hatwell) who presented Livvy and Taylor with their certificates and badges on Wednesday.
A big thank you to all who took part in the Blackwater Leisure Charity Triathlon – you helped raise £2502.08 for Barrow Farm. We were nominated by Jack, one of the junior members of Blackwater Triathlon Club, to be one of the beneficiaries of this annual event. Jack and his sister Charlotte are in the same class as Sam one of our Saturday riders and it was this friendship that led Jack to nominate Barrow Farm as one of this year’s charities.
On Saturday Jack and Charlotte came to present the cheque to Barrow Farm and they got the opportunity to see Sam ride and learn more about how Barrow Farm provides the opportunity for disabled children and adults to take part in equestrian sport. We are very grateful for Jack and the Blackwater Triathlon Club’s support. A lot of hard work goes into putting on the charity triathlon and we would like to say a big thank you to all those involved in organising, marshalling and sponsoring the event.
If you are interested in riding please do get in touch but we must inform you that we currently have no availability for riding on a Saturday as all the places are now full. Please do contact us if you have any questions and for more details about our Admissions Policy see our Information for Riders page.
Of course as we have so many riders on a Saturday we are always looking for help. We ride from 9-1pm in the morning with each session starting on the hour. In the afternoon we have rides at 2pm, 3pm, 3.45pm and 4.30pm finishing at 5.15pm. Some of our helpers just come for two sessions others stay all day so there are lots of options. For more information about helping with the rides see our Volunteering page.
The keen eyed amongst you will know that there are a few ponies missing from our Meet the Ponies section. The horses and ponies do not get added to the website until they have been with us a while – so that they have some stories to tell. Well today Tango’s profile has been added to the website. So if you want to find out more about him why don’t you visit his page. Jaybee and Boycie’s pages will be coming soon.
Thank you so very much to everyone who came to the successful Fun Day on Sunday 9th October at Park Drive Health Club, Maldon raising £740 for us. There was lots going on including Go Karts, a bouncy castle, face painting, BBQ and a silent auction. Special thanks go to Linda, Natalie, Andrea, Viv and Sue for making it all happen. It looks like everybody had a good time!
More than 2,000 people including a group from Barrow Farm attended the Fun Walk Trust sponsored walk and a record number of good causes benefitted including ourselves. The Fun Walk takes place every year [usually in May] at Barleylands Farm, Cray’s Hill, to raise money for charities and projects. And the group from Barrow Farm had a great time doing the walk. The “bonus pot” is a unique feature of The Fun Walk and is donated by generous local businesses and individuals and is given to charities in proportion to how much money they raise in sponsorship.
We are pleased that for 2016 we raised £430 & with the ‘bonus pot’ of £228 = £658 in total
Thank you to everyone who attended the Gala Dinner to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Barrow Farm RDA. It was a lovely evening and special thanks has to go to Andrea and her team of organisers including Jo, Karen and Viv who put so much effort into making it a wonderful event. Thank you also has to go to everyone who donated raffle and auction prizes. And finally thank you to Alex and Andrea who told us what riding at Barrow Farm means to them as a rider and as a parent of a rider respectively. We raised approximately £7000 which of course helps to cover the costs (about £120,000 per year) of providing opportunities for disabled children and adults to take part in equestrian sport.
So a big thank you from all of us and now we just have to look forward to the next 40 years…..