Quest News

Quest News and Our Community

Portesbery School Assembly
On Friday 5th January 2018 Chairman, Julie Jones and volunteers from Quest RDA attended an assembly at Portesbery School in Camberley. They were delighted to present eight students with their RDA Grade 1 Riding and Horse Care Proficiency badges and certificates. The students had worked hard during their riding lessons last term learning how to start, stop and steer their ponies. They also learnt the names of different parts of their pony and its saddle and bridle. Congratulations to all the students everybody at Quest RDA is very proud of you. Thank you to our dedicated volunteers who help at the weekly rides enabling our riders to experience the many benefits of horse riding.

The Molly Rickwood Endeavour Award
We were delighted to welcome Tony Rickwood, Molly’s husband, to Quest RDA to present the Molly Rickwood Endeavour Award to Maddy Halley during her ride on Friday 8th December 2017. 
After the recent and sudden death of Molly, who was Quest’s secretary for several years, the committee decided it would be a fitting tribute to Molly to have a trophy in her name. Molly and Tony have been involved with Quest for over twenty years and Molly had worked with children with special needs all her life. The trophy this year was presented to Maddy for the fantastic achievement of riding and completing our two mile Sponsored Ride in October. 
Maddy has been riding with Quest at Laris Farm for some time now, but really struggles with new situations so completing the ride was an amazing feat for her and we were all very proud of her. We know that Molly would also have been delighted that Maddy is the first recipient of the trophy. 
We hope that Tony will join us to present the Molly Rickwood Endeavour Award at the end of each academic year to a Quest rider that we feel particularly deserves the trophy. In this way Molly’s memory will live on in Quest RDA.

Lodge of Harmony & Progress

Chairman, Julie Jones was delighted to receive a cheque for £2,000 from John and Belinda Bunyan from the Lodge of Harmony and Progress in Surbiton on Saturday 18th November 2017. John and Belinda had chosen Quest RDA as the Charity the Lodge would support for John’s time as Master of the Lodge and the cheque was a result of their fundraising throughout the year. Thank you to everyone at the Lodge of Harmony and Progress your support is much appreciated.

Bonnie receives her award!

Congratulations to Bonnie, one of our Saturday riders who was presented with the Titan Award as Participant of the Year in the South East region. Bonnie was excited to receive the trophy at the end of her lesson on Magic on Saturday. Bonnie was watched by her Mum, grandparents and twin sister Niamh who were all extremely proud of her. Well done Bonnie everyone at Quest is delighted that you have been recognised for the progress you have made whilst riding at Quest RDA.

Obituary, Molly Rickwood
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of our secretary Molly Rickwood on Wednesday 4th October 2017. Molly was Secretary of Quest and she and her husband Tony have been involved in the charity for many years helping both on the ground and behind the scenes. Molly and Tony have been keen supporters of the Quest RDA Annual Sponsored Ride and helped at the refreshment stop on the 12 mile route every year. They will be missed by many riders this year. As a fitting tribute to Molly's commitment to Quest, at this years Sponsored Ride, we will be presenting a trophy in her memory named "The Molly Rickwood Endeavour Trophy", which will be awarded to a Quest rider who has overcome difficulties in order to achieve riding the 2 mile route. 

Molly will be greatly missed by everyone at Quest and our thoughts are with Tony at this very sad time.

Epworth Choir Concert

On Saturday 21st October 2017 Epworth Choir held a concert in St. Dunstan's Church in Woking. The programme, 'The French Touch' featured music from Fouré, Franck, Vierne and Saint-Saëns. Epworth Choir chose to support Quest RDA at this concert and proceeds from the retiring collection was all kindly donated to Quest. Chairman, Julie Jones spoke in the interval about the work of Quest RDA. 

Thank you to Epworth Choir and the audience for their generosity.

 Sad News
SAD NEWS-It is with great sadness that we said a final goodbye to Jake at the grand age of 31 years old. Jake was such a gentle kind horse, he will be greatly missed by us all. He was a very special boy who had a huge fan club of riders and volunteers. Jake worked for Quest for an incredible 25 years during which time he helped countless riders. We would like to thank everybody who has cared and loved Jake especially those who have helped us with him over the past few months in his retirement. We hope he is now having fun in the grassy field in the sky with his best mate Hunky. RIP Jake 

Many Congratulations to our our incredible nominees for the 
RDA Gala Awards 2017. 

We are delighted to announce the following nominations:
RDA Volunteer of the the Year, 
Zac (pictured left with Jake)
RDA Young Volunteer of the Year, Sophia (top right)
RDA Participant of the Year, 
Bonnie (below right)
RDA Horse: Pony of the Year, 
Jake (left with Zac)

Thank you Zac & Sophia (and Jake) for everything you do for Quest RDA and good luck to you and Bonnie in the national awards. 

Thank you to all our volunteers we are very lucky at Quest to have such a dedicated team of volunteers and supporters.

 Rokers Little Angels
We were delighted to welcome Lisa, who works at Rokers Little Angels, to watch children from the Special Needs Unit at Darley Dene School in Addlestone ride with Quest. Lisa was amazed at how well the children rode and how much they got out of their time at Quest. As a rider herself Lisa was impressed by our incredible ponies. Rokers have been great supporters of Quest and for the last four years have allowed us to have a Charity Fun Day at Little Angels. Money raised at these events has not only enabled us to purchase Magic, but also pay for her food and care. Thank you to everyone at Rokers we really appreciate your support.

Cala Homes Donation
Chairman, Julie Jones was delighted to receive a cheque for £1,000.00 from Lisa Maps from CALA Homes (Thames). Lisa was so impressed by what she saw at Quest RDA that she has decided to become a volunteer- thank you Lisa we are looking forward to welcoming you to the team! Quest was awarded a CALA Homes Bursary Funding Award to enhance the sensory ride and towards purchasing new tack. Quest RDA would like to thank everyone at CALA Homes for their support.

Basepoint Donation

Quest RDA Chairman, Julie Jones was delighted to receive a cheque from Basepoint in Camberley during one of our riding sessions last week. Svenja, from Basepoint thoroughly enjoyed watching children from the Special Needs Unit at Darley Dene School riding. Basepoint are kindly supporting Quest RDA this year and will fund match some of our fund raising. This support is greatly appreciated and will make a huge difference to Quest. 
Thank you to everyone at Basepoint.

Friday 14th July 2017 SAD NEWS

It is with great sadness that we said a final goodbye to our amazing pony Hunky at the grand age of 33 years old. Hunky will be missed greatly by us all. He was a very special boy who gave so much joy to our riders and volunteers. Hunky was rock steady and had the most wonderful temperament making him an incredible RDA pony. He was a true servant for us at Quest RDA where he worked tirelessly for 26 years before retiring. He has had a lovely two years retirement during which Claire, Quest’s treasurer has cared for him and loved him. The committee would like to thank Claire for all she has done for Hunky. 

Rest in peace Hunky.

 Volunteer of the Year Awards

On Thursday 6th July, Quest Chairman Julie Jones represented Quest RDA at the Greenoak Woking Volunteer of the Year Awards, held in the WWF building in Woking. Julie was delighted to received the runner-up award for Volunteer of the Year from MP Jonathan Lord on behalf of Jane Hadden-Wight who was unable to attend. Incredibly, Jane has been volunteering and supporting Quest RDA for over 42 years, so the committee are delighted that she has been recognised for all she has done for Quest over the years. Jane is always around to support younger volunteers and the committee, where she has been a member and trustee for many years. Jane is keen to help in any way she can, assisting Quest riders and taking great interest in the ponies. Without Jane’s unfailing drive and enthusiasm Quest would not be in the strong position it is in today. Despite being 82 years young and huge family commitments Jane always finds time to help at Quest RDA. She is the longest serving volunteer by miles that Quest has had and is a great inspiration to everyone. Thank you Jane and well done for a very well deserved award!

Below left, Jane with her runner-up award and right, Julie Jones receiving Jane's award from Jonathan Lord, MP for Woking

Another  New Pony for Quest

Meet the latest member of our team!

We are delighted to introduce our new pony ' Jack in the Box'. Jack is a 14.3hh 8 year old black cob gelding. Jack was found for us by Rachel Uden from Runtley Barn Stables in Sutton Green, Guildford and he was bought with money raised at our Masquerade Ball in 2016. Jack is already proving to be very reliable and is not phased by all our games on our Sensory Woodland Ride. We are thrilled that he has joined our team and sure he will prove popular with our children and adults.

Stacey Donnison World Record Attempt

At 11.00 hours on Saturday 3 June, Stacey Donnison completed the World Record for longest non stop horse ride, having spent 40 hours in the saddle since 19.00 hours on Thursday 1 June.  Stacey rode 12 different horses on her route from Pangbourne, via Streatley, Goring, Whitchurch, Henley on Thames and Windsor to Chobham and return. Stacey was welcomed by Quest Riding for the Disabled at Laris Farm in Chobham, enjoying a picnic lunch (on horseback of course!) before riding with some Quest disabled riders around the sensory ride there.
The charity donations are yet to be verified but we anticipate Stacey has raised a significant sum for Riding for the Disabled and the Pangbourne College Centenary Charity, in addition to this she has achieved an enormous feat of endurance and courage. To cap it all, she was still smiling as she rode into Pangbourne College to a trumpet fanfare and loud cheering and applause! 
If you would like to support Stacey's great achievement , follow this link to her Just Giving page. 

Lightwater Fete

On Saturday 13th May Quest went to the Lightwater Fete for the first time. We had a fundraising stall with a Horse Shoe Hoopla Game and Face painting. We also did a demonstration with two of our riders and ponies in the main arena. We hope everyone enjoyed our demonstration and hearing all about the work of Quest. We were extremely proud of our riders and ponies who all did brilliantly in very unusual circumstances. Thank you to our fantastic face painters Amy and Jane and to our ever dedicated volunteers who maned the stall and helped us during our demonstration we really appreciate your help. Thank you so much to everyone who supported our stall at the Lightwater Fete today we had a lovely day. Every pound raised at the Fete will be generously matched by Basepoint Centres Ltd.

Royal Windsor Horse Show

Quest riders from the Special Needs Unit at Pyrcroft Grange Primary School in Chertsey thoroughly enjoyed their day out at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Thursday 11th May. Rex and Scarlett, the two riders loved dressing up as Woody and Jessie to take part in the Lions of Windsor RDA Fancy Dress Class and were delighted to win a rosette. The volunteers and ponies entered into the spirit of the event dressing up as the film Toy Story.thank you to everyone who helped on the day and to Emma who kindly made all the fancy dress costumes for us. 

What a fun day well done everyone!

Supra Regional RDA Conference 

On Wednesday 19th April five Quest RDA Coaches had a fantastic day at the Supra Regional RDA Conference at Newbury Racecourse. They enjoyed listening to some inspirational speakers in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal. The day finished with a fantastic vaulting display by Shacks Barn and Buckingham RDA .

Chobham Carnival

On Monday 1st May Quest had a lovely day at the Chobham Carnival. Teddy the Shetland came and helped us with our fundraising and we were delighted to see so many people at our stall. Children thoroughly enjoyed getting their faces painted and our tombola was enjoyed by young and old. Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up time to help out during the day and to everyone who supported us on the day.

 Training and information evening

On Wednesday 17th March a training and information evening was held at Portesbery School for RDA volunteers. It was attended by over 50 volunteers from Quest and Sandhurst RDA groups who both hold weekly sessions for Portesbery pupils.

Matthew Sartin, Head of Portesbery School taught volunteers the best way to help with communication with the pupils. He even taught volunteers some Makaton sign language. The evening finished with a song signing to “Horsey, Horsey don’t you stop!”.

It was an extremely useful and informative evening.New Paragraph

Halstead School Fundraiser

Year 6 pupils at Halstead Preparatory School in Woking kindly raised money again for Quest by designing and selling greeting cards. They presented Chairman, Julie Jones with a cheque in assembly during which Julie was able to show the girls photos and talk to them about Quest. Two Year 6 pupils then visited Quest and enjoyed watching a RDA session and meeting the Quest ponies and riders.

Meet Diablo!

Following the recent fundraising success of our Masquerade Ball we are delighted to have been able to purchase a new pony to join our team. 

We are very excited to have found Diablo as he already seems very well suited to the job. He is a great size for some of our smaller riders and particularly those who need support from two side walkers.

Santa's Grotto at Squires Garden Centre

Squires Garden Centre, Woking 
On Saturday 26th November 2016 Santa arrived in a horse drawn carriage. Santa was accompanied by a very excited Amy Pendleton, a Quest RDA rider and her Mummy. Lots of children and their families were at Squires to greet Santa and Santa was also welcomed by a very special visitor Teddy the Shetland who came along to help Quest RDA with fundraising.
Quest were delighted that all the money collected at the Santa Grotto leading up to Christmas came directly to Quest RDA. 
The total raised was £2,361.47 which was fantastic!
Thank you to the manager and staff at Squires who helped and supported us and also to the many volunteers who gave up time at the weekend to man the Grotto.

Halloween Fun day at Squires Garden Centre

Squires Garden Centre in Woking, staged some half term Halloween fun where Quest volunteers organised a lucky dip and face painting to raise funds and awareness for Quest RDA. Squires Garden Centre have chosen Quest as their charity of the year and will be working with Quest RDA until July 2017.

Quest riders win trophies at the annual Sponsored ride

Sponsored Ride, Sunday 16th October. Congratulations to all of the Quest riders for completing the 2 mile trail at the annual Sponsored Ride, raising lots of money for Quest by doing so. We were thrilled to present two of our riders with trophies from the day during their weekly rides. The trophies were awarded for the “Happiest Quest Rider” and the “Most Sponsorship for Under 16 years old”.

See our Sponsored Ride page for a full news article about this event.

South East Regional Conference 

On Wednesday 19th October, Quest’s Group Coach Corinna Heddle, was awarded an “Over & Above Award” at the conference for exceptionally dedicated service in supporting Ben’s road to recovery. We are delighted that Corinna has been recognised for all she did to get Ben back to full health and we are over the moon that, thanks to Corinna, Ben is now back giving joy to many riders and volunteers. Well done Corinna!

Mr Bunny Roker visits Quest RDA

On Friday 14th October we were delighted to welcome Mr Bunny Roker, owner of Rokers and Donna, manager of Rokers Little Angels to Quest RDA. Mr Roker kindly presented a cheque to Quest as a result of the charity fun day held at Little Angels in August. Rokers have been fantastic supporters of Quest since 2014 and have enabled us to buy our newest pony Magic. Mr Roker and Donna enjoyed watching children from the special needs unit at Darley Dene School ride and met Magic for the first time.
Thank you to everyone at Rokers, your support really makes a big difference.

Laris farm Dressage

On Sunday 9th October five Quest RDA riders and an Epsom RDA rider took part in the Laris Farm Dressage Competition. They rode an RDA Introductory Test walk in the main arena and all did brilliantly. They were all awarded rosettes and certificates at the end of the class. It was a lovely day and everyone at Quest thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Quest are very grateful to Nina and the Laris Farm staff for including Quest in this event. Our ponies all looked beautifully smart and behaved well. Thank you to our volunteers who gave up time to help out and also to everyone who supported our cake and coffee stall.

Sponsored Skydive by SVG Capital.

We are delighted that on 23rd September 2016 four staff from SVG Capital in London will be doing a charity skydive falling from 12,000ft over Headcorn all in aid of Quest RDA. We are extremely grateful to SVG Capital and their staff for their support and would to thank them for adopting Quest RDA as their chosen charity for this year.
If you would like to sponsor them please click on the link below

Quiz Night at The Sun Inn, Chobham. 

A Quiz night held on 9th August was the third that the Sun Inn has held in aid of Quest RDA and the most successful yet, raising a total of £460.00. It was a fun evening which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Not only did the Sun donate the £2 entry fee from everyone taking part, but they also generously donated a voucher for a meal and also a bottle of wine for the raffle. It’s great that the management, staff and customers are so willing to support us and have raised a fantastic £1155.81 over the past year.

A huge thank you to the management, staff and customers at the Sun Inn for their continued support!

Magical Millie. A New Pony for Quest

A beautiful new pony has arrived at Quest Riding for the Disabled in Chobham thanks to the generous support of Rokers Animal Feed & Tack Shop and Rokers Little Angels in Guildford. In 2014 Nick Tegg, General Manager of Rokers, approached Quest as they were keen to support us. In August 2014 and again in August 2015, Rokers Little Angels indoor play world opened its doors for a Charity Fun day and all proceeds from the day were donated to Quest. In February 2016 Rokers and TopSpec hosted an Equine Health evening and again, all the proceeds going to Quest. These funds have enabled Quest to buy Magical Millie who really is proving to be quite “magical” in every way!
We are extremely grateful to Nick and his staff, as his vision to support us has made a huge difference to Quest and our riders.

Thank you Cesca, from everyone at Quest!

Cesca Thorpe, pictured on the right, was presented with flowers by Julie Jones as she steps down from her role as Chairman of Quest at the end of June 2016. The committee thanked Cesca for everything she has achieved during her three years as Chairman and commended her for a job very well done. Cesca hands over the reigns to Julie Jones, who will continue to build on the strong foundations that Cesca and the Committee have put in place to ensure that Quest can go from strength to strength and continue with its work helping both disabled adults and children enjoy the benefits of equestrian therapy.  We are delighted that Cesca will continue to support Quest as a member of the fund raising team. A huge thank you to Cesca from everyone at Quest! 

Halstead Preparatory School for Girls, Woking

Julie Jones, the new Chairman of Quest, was presented with a cheque for £421.00 by pupils at Halstead Preparatory School for Girls in Woking during their assembly on 29th June. Entrepreneurial Year 6 girls designed and produced two beautiful colouring books which they had printed and then sold to raise funds for charity. The girls listened enthusiastically as Julie explained the work of Quest and then the girls asked some excellent questions. Thank you so much to everyone at Halstead, your support is very much appreciated.

Royal Windsor Horse Show, 12th May 2016 

Quest RDA riders Savannah and Sirio from the Special Needs Unit at Pyrcroft Grange Primary School in Chertsey were delighted to be awarded 4th prize in the RDA Fancy dress class at The Royal Windsor Horse Show. After a challenging day due to the awful weather the day before and the show ground being very muddy everybody had a wonderful day. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped and the lovely ladies who helped us again this year with the costumes. We were delighted to receive a generous donation from the Lions Club of Windsor who sponsor the class each year. Well done to our riders who were super and to Leo and Twiglet who behaved beautifully .

Quiz Night at The Sun Inn, Chobham. 19th April 2016

Following the success of the Quiz Night in October the management team at the Sun agreed to hold another Quiz night for Quest on 19th April 2016. We were thrilled to receive just over £350.00 from the evening.
Thank you to the Management, staff and customers at the Sun Inn for their continued support.

We hope to hold another Quiz night later this year. Watch this space for the date!

Centauri Riding Club Easter Show, 28th March 2016 

Quest RDA riders took part alongside Laris Farm clients in the ground pole class. They all did brilliantly and were awarded 'Clear Round' rosettes.

Each spring Centauri Riding Club, which is based at Laris Farm, hold a show jumping show at Laris Farm. Three years ago Centauri introduced a Ground Pole Class so that Quest RDA riders could compete alongside Laris Farm riders over a course of poles on the ground.  Our riders have thoroughly enjoyed participating at the these events and we are very grateful to everyone who supported the Quest RDA stall by buying cakes and refreshments.
Thank you to Laris Farm and Centauri Riding Club for inviting Quest RDA to join them at the show.       Click here to visit Laris Farm's website

Sunningdale Carnival Donation, 19th March 2016      

Quest RDA were presented with a generous cheque for £500 from Sunningdale Carnival organisers as a result of proceeds made at the carnival held in September 2015. Thank you very much to the organisers for their kind support.

Quiz Night at the Cricketers, March 2016 

The Cricketers Pub in Horsell very kindly gave Quest RDA a cheque for £354.80 as a result of two Quiz nights held earlier this year. The Cricketers Pub are very supportive of Quest RDA, for which we are very grateful.


Rokers Equine Health Evening, 5th February 2016 

This evening was held at Rokers, presented by Blackdown Equine Clinic and sponsored by Topspec feeds. All proceeds taken on the door were kindly donated to Quest. 

Rokers have been fantastic supporters of Quest since 2014 when Nick Tegg, General Manager of the Rokers Complex first approached Quest to offer support for the charity. He suggested the best way to do this would be to hold a special fun day for Quest at Rokers ‘Little Angels Playworld’ and donated all the proceeds from the days entrance fees, raising £1700! 

In August 2015 there was a great turnout for the second Charity fun Day which raised an amazing £2300 for Quest! Instructors and volunteers from Quest RDA were on hand all day to speak to visitors at Little Angels about the work of Quest RDA. We took our display board of photos showing our ponies and riders which fascinated the children visiting Little Angels.

We are extremely grateful to Rokers for their support and look forward to, hopefully, another Charity Fun Day in 2016!

BBC Lifeline Appeal For Riding for the Disabled, 17th Jan 2016 

 A Film crew from the BBC filmed at Quest in December 2015 for this appeal, which some of our riders took part in.

South East Regional Conference, 22nd October 2014

Corinna and Julie, two of Quest's Group Instructors had an excellent day at the RDA South East Regional Conference in October and have come back with lots of great ideas for Quest RDA. It was a great day with some very interesting and inspiring guest speakers.  Corinna and Julie were very excited to have met Paralympian Sophie Christiansen, pictured here, who was wearing her gold medal from London 2012.

Pictured from left: Julie Jones, Sophie Christiansen, Corinna Heddle
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