This year’s service took place on Sunday 22nd February and was led by the Reverend Ralph Godsall. The Rangers were led in the parade to St Margaret’s Church in Central London by Adam, Samson, Tracey, Nancy, Danny, Victor and Cameo.
It was a long but rewarding day for all the riders and helpers involved in this year’s Open Day for the Special Needs Section (Squadron 6). The day was packed with fun challenges and races and allowed current members of the squadron to come together and show friends and relations how their co-ordination and riding skills had improved.
Friends and family enjoyed picnics in the sunshine as we gathered together at the Stockyard on the 4th July for this year’s Awards Day. Richard Bevan, Chairman of the Trustees, gave a warm welcome to everyone and introduced performances by the band and the Musical Ride Display Team (which included two of our new additions to the stable, Nat and Nobby) before the presentations began. Even the mayor of Richmond attended!
In total, 21 awards were presented, culminating with the prestigious trophy for the Horse Ranger of the Year. Awards Day was a fabulous way to celebrate the hard work and commitment from all of our members over the last 12 months.
The Horse Rangers Association held its annual gymkhana at the Stockyard next to Bushy Park on the 5th and 6th September. With a host of exciting races, performances by the Horse Rangers band and Musical Ride display Team, and some beautifully sunny weather, the weekend long event drew large crowds and helped to raise much-needed funds for the Organisation.
Richard Bevan, Chairman of the Trustees for the Horse Rangers Association, said of the event: "This year’s gymkhana has been a great deal of fun and a fantastic success. It’s a lovely way for our members to share their passion for horses. We managed to raise over £6,000 at the event, which is amazing. It costs over £400,000 a year for us to look after all of our horses and children, so this is a big help, particularly in these difficult economic times. It’s all thanks to our wonderful volunteers who helped to stage the event and who enable the activities at the Horse Rangers Association to take place every week."
A group of riders from the Horse Rangers Association’s special needs section enjoyed the luxuries of their own box at Olympia, the home of the London International Horse Show, on Friday 18th December. The box was kindly sponsored by Lord Harris of Peckham, and it gave the group a fantastic opportunity to watch some of the top riders in the world compete against each other in some very challenging show jumping contests.
The special needs section also saw a number of other entertaining acts, including a small dogs’ relay race, a Shetland Pony Grand National and a wonderful display by Jean-Franςois Pignon and his white horses. However, it was the dramatic musical ride staged by the Metropolitan Police that really stole the show. The police team showed amazing skill and agility as they completed fast crossovers and jumped through a paper wall and rings of fire. Following their performance, Inspector Alan Hiscox and Alistair Blamire visited the box to meet the group and answer their questions. A great time was had by all who attended.
A hearty band of Horse Rangers donned costumes and braved the cold to celebrate Christmas and the end of 2009 with two fundraising rides through Bushy Park on December 25th and 31st. In total, 20 members and stable staff took part in the rides -including a guest appearance by Frosty the Snowman himself! The playful outings brought out a smile from many dog walkers, cyclists and other members of the public in the park and helped us to raise almost £500 for the organisation.