Events at Totara Park RDA

Volunteers only day Monday 10th February 2020

RDA Rider sessions commence Tuesday 11 February 2020

Clubhouse Facelift Team Aces It


Over the last month, volunteers Cliff Dawson, Chris Sims, Peter Lawn and Mike Exton, have been hard at work on Fridays bringing us a trendy new weather tight exterior. All the ply and battens were generously donated. Now the two sides most open to driving wind and rain have been completed and we look forward to a building’ fit for purpose’ for many years to come.

New Term, New Coach


A warm welcome was extended to Elizabeth Roberts the first day back Term 3. She is stepping into the coaching role recently vacated by Viv who has gone on to pursue other things.

Elizabeth was a highly valued member of the Pony Team for many years before she left us for paid work. She is a skilled horsewoman with strong interpersonal skills and we are delighted to have her back with us.

NZRDA Auditor Comes Calling

Andrea Elmers from Greenhithe RDA, our NZRDA Operations Reviewer also came the first day back. She was there to audit our session practise, talk to key personnel, observe us all at work and to check the paperwork. Every year we have an Operations Review to ensure best practise and safety for riders, volunteers and horses. Andrea has been involved with RDA on the North Shore for a long time and we appreciated her keen eye and professional approach.

Left to right: Rae Lawn, President Anne Chamberlin, Coaches Cilla Bell, Cliff Dawson, Andrea Elmers NZRDA Auditor and new Coach Elizabeth Roberts

Left to right: Rae Lawn, President Anne Chamberlin, Coaches Cilla Bell, Cliff Dawson, Andrea Elmers NZRDA Auditor and new Coach Elizabeth Roberts

Gingerbread horse fundraiser

Gingerbread horse logo

Individuals, schools, youth groups/community groups wanted. Support your local Totara Park RDA.

Register, bake, decorate, sell and donate the profits to NZRDA. The funds will be shared out to all RDA groups in the country.

It’s fun and will help provide horse therapy activities for disabled children and adults.

This campaign runs throughout August 2019 .

To find out more go to:

Register to our group: TOT46

NZ Volunteers Week Celebration at TPRDA

Thursday 20 June we had a great finish to “Volunteers Week”, thanks to our hard working Volunteer Coordinator.

Megan used the online firm,’ The Catering Station’ for a family birthday and was so impressed she decided to treat all the volunteers at the end of the Thursday morning session. We had a lot of fun assembling individual gourmet sliders from a delicious assortment in the box. Happy faces all round.

Volunteer Cup Presentation

Volunteer, Coach, Horse Leader, Side Walker and Committee Member Cliff Dawson, received the Jill Stephenson Cup for Volunteers. A truly fitting reward after being around doing what ever is needed for many years. Both his knowledge and expertise are much appreciated by riders, parents, the Pony Team, the Coaching Team and all the other volunteers.

Lions Club Children of Courage Awards

On Friday night, 16 November, three of our riders – Sophie Bold, Kaleb Bertram and Iziyah Moemai received Children of Courage Awards at the Highland Park St John Ambulance Station. These awards are given in recognition of the challenges they face so bravely in everyday life. Sophie loved it and the magician performing after the presentations was a hit.

Start Dates for 2019 Training and Rides

Volunteers only training day: Monday 4 February 2019
First Monday Ride: Monday 11 February 2019
First Thursday Ride: Thursday 14 February 2019

Volunteers Christmas Function Monday 17 December 2018

Festive bells

Venue: Howick Bowling Club, Selwyn Rd, Howick
Time: 11am to 3pm
Mystery Santa gifts, delicious festive fare and Volunteer of the Year Award. Come along and enjoy.

New President at Totara Park

Saira Boyle

Saira Boyle, Principal of St Mary’s Catholic School, Ellerslie was appointed President, 31 October 2018. With 20 years’ experience in the education sector and 10 years on boards Saira is ideal for this role and we look forward to working with her. Her particular strengths are leading strategy planning,

YHI (NZ) Ltd. Steps up for Hershey

For the second year running the team at YHI has agreed to sponsor our RDA pony Hershey stepping up again, with $8000. We are so grateful for this vital financial support

Our newest horse

New horse Jubilee

Jubilee, a Palouse mare, joined the Totara Park herd Friday 5 October. Thanks go to Fiona and Kylie, the Coaches and the Pony Team. She comes to us from Moumoukai Valley Farm, Hunua where she helped many children to learn to ride and upskill.

Bake a Difference

It's that sweet smell of gingerbread time again!

Please support TPRDA by joining the Gingerbread Horse Campaign to help us continue making a positive difference in the lives of our riders. There are fantastic prizes to be won, for you and our group. Simply register as an Individual, School or Business/Community Baker at

Important: Our Group Code is TOT46.

You’ll receive a free baking pack containing a recipe card, a horse-shaped cookie cutter, plastic bags and stickers to package your biscuits for sale, plus publicity posters. Then bake, sell and forward your proceeds to NZRDA. All funds raised are returned to our group and help make a HUGE difference to our local riders. If you register please let Di Knight know at‎ We'll then be able to keep you posted of any selling opportunities, group decorating etc. Thank you! We couldn’t do what we do without you.

Good in the Hood Cheque Presentation Monday 25 June

Cilla Bell and Doug Humby attended the ceremony this Monday. TPRDA was presented with a cheque for $1,439. Thanks go to Teneale Dunker who did the original application and Doug Humby who persuaded people to vote for our charity at the Lockwood Court Petrol Station. Many thanks also to all our supporters who bought their petrol there so they could vote for us. Awesome effort everyone.

Carole Sanders 1946-2018

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of our recipients of the Jill Stevenson Volunteer Award. This gracious, hard working volunteer has spent countless hours looking after our ponies, leading horses during sessions, encouraging riders and quietly doing a myriad of things behind the scenes to keep us going from week to week. Our sincere condolences go to her family and many friends.

New coach Viv Gosbee (left) introduced on February 2018 VT Day

40th Anniversary Celebration Works a Treat

An incredible amount of work went into the 18 November 40th Anniversary Afternoon Tea. Just look at Helen Warfield’s beautiful table arrangements and the fantastic display boards put together by Cilla Bell and Anne Chamberlin. Sally Champion did an ace job meeting and greeting the 75 attendees at the door as well as deciding on a great menu for the Howick Bowling Club Caterers to deliver.

It was such an extraordinary mix of past and present RDA supporters, sponsors riders and volunteers. The laughter and talk flowed way past quitting time. It was so nice catching up, pouring over the photo albums doing the rounds, recalling riders, events and different personalities of horses long gone. One RDA person remarked,” I’m not so good on the people, but I remember the horses’ names, every time!”. Acting President Anne Chamberlin started the ball rolling giving an entertaining rundown on how RDA got started back in 1977 at the Whitford Pony Club. Those Whitford locals had terrific drive and a lot of fun, making it all happen for the first handful of local disabled kids. Cilla Bell came next explaining the shift to Totara Park at the current Totara Park Equestrian Centre which we share with the Pony Club and Adult Riders Club. Ray Chamberlin did an excellent job with the data show slides put together by another RDA volunteer, Doug Humby.

Special guests included the Chair of NZRDA, Sarah Haydon, and the Area One NZRDA representative on the Board, Fiona Wilson. Sarah’s address was followed by a presentation of a very welcome cheque by Colin Salt President of the Howick Lions Club.

Next came the cutting of the cake by our 2017 Rider of the Year, Destiny Shelford. Five years ago Destiny could only walk with the aid of a special walking frame but for the very first time this year showed how she was able to walk independently. This is a real testimony to the power of RDA working in tandem with her medical support people to achieve this wonderful new-found mobility. She looked cuteness itself, cutting the cake with Sally. After the formalities were over there was a mountain of catching up with old friends.

Coach Cilla and Hana Hosking, one of our ex RDA Coaches have lots to talk about.

Past volunteers, Linda Agnew and Elizabeth Roberts chat to ex rider Gaylene Mackereth.

Helen Warfield and Kylie with Waren Warfield's basket of goodies for arena project work.

The man behind many of our very best RDA session action shots, Doug Humby chats to ex volunteer.

Carole Sanders and Loraine Grant Pony Team volunteers, chat with Jill Groenstein.