Our history

The Hawke's Bay is where it all began, with the very first RDA in New Zealand being a sub-group at the Pony Club in Waipukurau. 


Riding for the Disabled (RDA) was formally introduced to New Zealand in 1962 by the President of the New Zealand Pony Club Association, Tom Atchison (1909-1999). 

After retiring as President (and using information he brought back from Great Britain), Tom spent 8 years travelling around New Zealand and encouraging the formation of local RDA groups.

New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA) was formally established in 1972.

Today, RDA in New Zealand is made up of over 50 groups affiliated to NZRDA. There are RDA groups located in every region throughout the country, from Kaitaia in the north and all the way down to Invercargill in the south.