Events at Totara Park RDA

For previous news and events please refer to newsletters on the right sidebar

Our Give a Little cover page has been revised

This is an easy way to make a donation and being a registered charity a tax deductible receipt will automatically be emailed to the donor. Last winter we created a Give A Little cause page for our horse feed and were delighted to raise $1700. Thank you to all who donated. Check out our revised page and gallery of pictures at

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

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

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.

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.