Cambridge RDA have provided therapeutic interaction with horses for people with disabilities for over 40 years.  Photo: Wylder Captures

Waikato Thoroughbred Racing getting in behind local charity

Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
23 June 2024
Waikato Thoroughbred Racing are once again showing their support for the local community by hosting the Cambridge RDA (Riding for the Disabled) Race Day at its Cambridge Synthetic meeting this Wednesday, June 26, with proceeds going to the local charity.

Riding for the Disabled has been assisting local communities around New Zealand for more than half a century and Cambridge RDA’s Sam Ogden is grateful for the racing community’s support.

“The RDA is a not-for-profit organisation whose sole purpose is to provide therapeutic interaction with horses for people with disabilities. Those disabilities can be physical, intellectual, social, emotional – it is a very broad spectrum,” Ogden said.

“We have got riders that range from the age of three to 64 years old, and we are accessible for everybody.

“At the moment we have got 66 active riders and 50 active volunteers.”
Photo credit: Wylder Captures

Thoroughbreds have also played an integral role in RDA’s throughout the country.

“We have had 33 thoroughbreds come through the RDA since they started tracking that kind of detail,” Ogden said.

The Cambridge RDA Raceday is an important fundraising event on the calendar for the local charity, and Ogden is hoping the Cambridge community gets in behind the meeting this Wednesday.

“The Cambridge Jockey Club, which is now a part of Waikato Thoroughbred Racing, has supported us (Cambridge RDA) for the last couple of years,” Ogden said.

“They donate a race day to us, with the gold coin donation entry one avenue (of fundraising) and the money from race sponsors is also donated to us. In terms of fundraising for the RDA, it is massive for us.”

Ogden said Cambridge RDA members will be on course and there will be a couple of activities and demonstrations for the public to enjoy.

“We will be doing a demonstration of the horse ambulance using our (pony) Marvellous Monty, he is always a crowd pleaser,” she said. “We will also have a whole load of volunteers out there in their RDA shirts promoting the RDA.”
Cambridge RDA's Marvellous Monty. Photo supplied.

The Cambridge RDA performs a great service for the local community and Ogden said they need the support of their local community to survive and continue to provide a positive experience for their riders.

“Cambridge RDA has been working in the community for 41 years, but the national body is 60-plus years old,” she said. “It is an organisation that has stood the test of time, and it needs support, and that support has to come from the communities around us.”
Unable to make it on-course? You can donate here. To learn more about the Cambridge RDA, visit

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