In the late 1970's the Whangarei Group Riding for the Disabled Organisation began. The group moved many times before finally settling in the Barge Show Grounds, Maunu in 1994. With the assistance of the ASB Trust and local businesses a new complex was built comprising of two covered arenas, stables and yards, an administration block and a relocated caretakers cottage.

We provide a therapeutic riding and horsemanship program to develop increased ability and self-esteem in children and adults with physical,
intellectual and behavioural difficulties.

We operate 4 days per week and have up to 80 riders over this time.

The RDA relies heavily on volunteer help. Financially we operate using a combination of grants, donations, rider fees, rent, arena hireage, plant sales, and advertising. These cover our operating costs of over $180,000 per year and that doesn't include repairs and maintenance projects, capital works or replacement horses!

The Whangarei Group RDA is affiliated to the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association who support us with information, training and some national fundraising initiatives such as the Gingerbread Horse Week.

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Thank you #TeamSam​

Sam Hayes and Aaron Gilmore win Dancing with the Stars for NZRDA Congratulations Sam and Aaron for bringing home the Dancing with the Stars NZ trophy for every RDA rider, volunteer and therapy horse in New Zealand.After ten amazing weeks of samba and salsa, tango and twerking, charleston and cha-cha, the journey has come to an end with the public deciding the outcome of the Grand Final.“Aaron and I are absolutely ecstatic to have won the glitterball trophy for NZ Riding for the Disabled,” says winner Sam Hayes. “I went into this always planning to give it my best shot but never imagined for a moment we would win.  And, especially when I think about the level of commitment and skill that the other finalists showed tonight, their performances were flawless. What a night!”The four final dance pairs (Chris Harris and Vanessa Cole, Jess Quinn and Jonny Williams, Sam Hayes and Aaron Gilmore, and Shavaughn Ruakere and Enrique Johns all performed spectacular show dances in the Grand Final, as well as their favourite dance of the season. They were placed accordingly:First - Sam Hayes and Aaron GilmoreSecond - Chris Harris and Vanessa ColeThird - Jess Quinn and Jonny WilliamsFourth - Shavaughn Ruakere and Enrique Johns“The audience reaction to the return of  Dancing With The Stars this year has been even bigger than we expected, and that is in part due to the dedication from each and every contestant to their performance and their charities,” says MediaWorks Chief Content Officer Andrew Szusterman. “But in the end there can be only one winner. Congratulations Sam and Aaron.”​

Rider of the Year​

8-year-old Ruby is NZRDA Rider of the Year Congratulations to Ruby Fitzgerald from . 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! ​


Whangarei NZRDA News

Thanks to ALL our wonderful sponsors including Lions Whangarei and many others.......

Welcome to Whangarei RDA

Whangarei RDA

Whangarei Group Riding For The Disabled Incorporated