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Team Ynys Mon RDA

  • Posted: 12 April 2021

Rider with horse and trainer

One of the great things about running Dressage Anywhere, is the great people and friends you meet along the way. Just one of those is Sara Jones-Williams, Regional Dressage Rep for North Wales RDA. Sara is passionate about her RDA riders, their growth and development and it's been an absolute pleasure to work with her and the team.

Here's what Sara had to say about competing with Dressage Anywhere and the benefits it has brought the riders. 

How the group started with Dressage Anywhere

Ynys Mon RDA Group has been in existence for over 50 years, the group existed before RDA became a National Body. We have only been competing in RDA Regionals and Nationals for the past five years due to our location and pony power.

Team Ynys Mon was Born

One of our riders, Elan, had competed once with Dressage Anywhere and with the help of her mum (camera lady extraordinaire) we decided to give it a go with the aim of possibly achieving the 60% mark for a few of the more experienced riders. Twelve riders later and they all qualified!

Who is the team?

The team is made up of WSH Something Borrowed, Justin Lagdun, Stockton Tabitha, Rafthouse the Diva, Chamfron Chipita and the riders are from Grade 1 through ID WT and VI WTC both junior and senior. There are currently six riders keen to get going both adults and juniors. Over the last stop-start year riders have achieved personal bests and many achieving over 70% for the first time and several achieving over 75%.

How we got on

We very quickly became hooked as we thrived being able to compete from the yard. Dressage Anywhere so ahead of its time on a home working idea! The feedback was great and we were able to also put in training tests for Para tests, even if we could not compete until classified.

What we learnt

Never to try and send a video on Facebook Messenger! Always WhatsApp, its fun to dress up, its easy to submit a test, riders take ownership of their own entries and uploads (another good skill). Ruth is super helpful and encouraging; the feedback can feature in future training plans; finally that the yard cats are guaranteed to photo bomb many many tests!

How it has helped

  • Increased confidence to give it a go
  • Home environment
  • Embracing the virtual world
  • Learning to turnout
  • IT knowledge
  • Safe platform for all riders especially juniors
  • To focus on their own ride
  • Taken away the anxiety of new surroundings etc
  • Been able to attract sponsorship for the group through selling banner space on the arena
  • We have even started planting up planters on the letters
  • Increased the team spirit, e.g. pre-covid, riders helping to call letters for VI riders.

Where next?

As equestrian competitions are increasingly becoming virtual we feel much more prepared and ready to give it a go. We are just starting the road out of lockdown 3.0 in Wales, for some of the riders 4.0, as they had a local lockdown. Everyone is looking forward to getting some entries in April and hopefully not being too rusty. We have some riders who are looking forward to their first time competiting in this very positive and safe environment. The training the cats to stay out of the arena is not going so well.

Thank you Team Dressage Anywhere and Ruth!

We run monthly RDA Competition and BD Para-Equestrian classes, both of which you'll find in our schedule