Jamie wins top horse-riding award

By Echo Reporter

THE national voluntary organisation, RDAI (Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland) has announced that Jamie Jones from Cookstown in Tallaght was the winner of its annual Rider of the Year Award. Jamie participates in horse-riding with the Calliaghstown RDAI Group in Rathcoole.

The announcement was made during the Association’s National Conference in Armagh city. This year marked six years since the RDAI and its’ sister organisation in Northern Ireland, RDA NI have held their national conferences together.

Jamie Jones ROTY 2016

Over 250 volunteers from both sides of the border gathered together to share experiences of the progress, increased ability and confidence that children and adults with disabilities gain through the therapeutic benefits of horse-riding. The RDAI (http://www.rdai.org/) was established in 1969 and has more than 600 volunteers helping 700 people to enjoy horse-riding and carriage-driving throughout Ireland.

The Rider of the Year Award was presented to Jamie Jones, and sponsored by Wexford Insurances.

Speaking after the presentation, Roisín Henry, Field Officer for the RDAI, said that what struck the judges in reading Jamie’s entry was his ability to cope with the challenges in his life and how his lessons with the Calliaghstown RDAI group have become a very positive constant in his life.

“Jamie’s story really encapsulates everything that the RDAI stands for and strives to achieve. No matter how trying or difficult his personal life, no matter what challenges face him on a daily or weekly basis, Jamie always attends his weekly lesson with a smile on his face and with a bag of apples to feed the animals.

"Indeed even within the past few months, he has had a number of big challenges in his life, including moving to a new house, getting to know the new staff and dealing with new work and programme commitments, yet no matter what his frustrations are, his mood lightens and improves when he knows he is going to join his friends at his lesson.”

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