The team is in Gloucestershire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Riding for the Disabled Association. Interviewed, Princess Anne talks of her long association with the RDA.
The team is in Gloucestershire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Riding for the Disabled Association.
John and Anita are at their national championships at Hartpury College. This is the biggest event of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders and carriage drivers. Three days, 200 horses and 500 competitors! We have an exclusive interview with Princess Anne, who tells John of her long association with the RDA.
Meanwhile, Sean learns how to make a canoe out of flax, and it’s the height of summer and the crops are ripening nicely in the fields on Adam’s farm, but today he’s turning his attention to his animals, and one very special new arrival.
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
50 Years of the RDA
The team are in Gloucestershire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the RDA. John Craven and Anita Rani are at their National Championships, at Hartpury College. This is the biggest event of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders and carriage drivers. Three days, 200 horses and 500 competitors!The RDA was set up in 1969, after a handful of pioneers started to realise the therapeutic benefits of horse riding for people with disabilities, particularly for people with Muscular dystrophy and polio.
They have centres in every corner of the UK, in cities and remote rural areas, brining the therapy and benefits of horses to as many people as they can. And the amazing thing is – the Association is run almost entirely by volunteers.
John hears how the Association has grown over the years, in a special interview with the President of the RDA – HRH The Princess Royal.
It’s one of our most ancient crops – flax. And whilst its origins lie in cloth making, the future of flax is looking much more buoyant thanks to one Cotswold couple.Anne and Simon Cooper are thought to be the only people in the country growing flax to make canoes!
Sean Fletcher meets the Cotswold couple as they show him how they get from the crop to cranoe. Along the way Sean learns what it is to ‘ripple’, ‘scutch’ and ‘hackle’ before taking to the water to test-paddle one of these beautiful canoes.
Hidden Horse Flu
Tom Heap investigates whether enough has been done to combat horse flu. An outbreak back in February led to a shutdown of horse racing. But did the precautions taken, work? Tom visits the laboratories analysing test results to see if the contagious disease has been contained.
Tales from the Champions
Anita meets one of the RDA’s most famous success stories – Para Equestrian Sophie Christiansen, CBE. Sophie was inspired to start riding at the age of 6 after school trips to her local RDA centre. She started competing at 13 and her first major international competition came three years later when she won an individual bronze medal. That same year, she was also voted BBC London Disabled Athlete of the Year.Sophie has won nine Paralympic medals, eight of them gold.
One More Celebration...
As well as celebrating 50 years of the RDA, we’re also marking another special occasion – John's 30th anniversary on Countryfile! Anita surprises John with a celebratory cake - featuring a mini fondant John!
|Series Producer||Joanna Brame|
|Executive Producer||Bill Lyons|