Rider of the Year
8-year-old Ruby is NZRDA Rider of the Year
Congratulations to Ruby Fitzgerald from Christchurch Group Riding for the Disabled. Ruby is very intelligent and very curious. She’s always asking questions, always trying to figure out what, why and how. Backed by a very supportive family as well as her RDA coaches and volunteers and her lovely RDA therapy horse Gypsy, Ruby has come a long way. Before starting at RDA, Ruby had never ridden a horse. Now, she can groom, help tack up, steer, and even trot. Ruby works hard – and concentrates even harder. Her confidence and self-motivation have gone from strength to strength. She trusts herself more, as well as others, and she can problem-solve way better than before.
Ruby couldn’t be at our recent national awards in Wellington. So the Christchurch team set up a personal awards ceremony – just for Ruby. She received her award from RDA coach Chrissy. Watching on was Gypsy and RDA volunteer Michael, both key players in Ruby’s RDA support team.
Ruby’s mum Sally was also there. She says: “Ruby is so pleased and proud of herself! I can’t believe how far she has come in just a year.” Ruby’s grandmother Karen agrees: “We really do appreciate all of the people who give their time and expertise to help children like our Ruby to realise and experience their potential. Thank you so much.”
RDA therapy is both fun AND hard work. As Ruby herself says: “I got way stronger since I started”.
Well done Ruby!
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In October 2015 I fell while jumping my young horse and sustained a spinal cord injury which has left me a T4/5 paraplegic.
I have been a horse rider since the age of 12. Before my accident I was a competitive rider competing mainly in Eventing. When I left the Burwood Spinal Unit in February 2016 I was determined to ride again, but unsure if it was even possible.”
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