Riding for the Disabled Association Carine sticks with national body

RDA Carine volunteers Whitney Saffron and Chloe Wildsmith with Faith Pascoe (12) and horse Percy.
RDA Carine volunteers Whitney Saffron and Chloe Wildsmith with Faith Pascoe (12) and horse Percy.

THE president of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Carine says the organisation sees no advantage in joining the 14 clubs disaffiliating from the national body.

Riding for the Disabled WA rebranded as HorsePower in mid-November, which it attributed to the use of “disabled” becoming less desirable in the community and not reflecting its services.

The Carine group is one of five centres to remain, which president Brian McNamara said represented more than 50 per cent of the former RDA WA’s riders.

He believed the change would benefit the centre because it would now have direct membership to the national association instead of going through the State body.

“We don’t see there would be any disadvantage,” he said.

“We think we’ll grow and it represents a good opportunity.

“To us there was no reason to disaffiliate.”

Mr McNamara was concerned about some of the ramifications for the HorsePower centres as he said their coaches would no longer have national accreditation and believed maintenance costs would be expensive.

“From a cost point of view it’s cheaper to stay with the national body,” he said.

“We think they’re going to struggle.”

Despite the split, he expected the amiable relationship between groups to continue.

“I think even though we’re separated there will still be a level of co-operation,” he said.

RDA Australia executive officer Karen Aspery said Carine, Capricorn (Pinjar), Southwest (Gelorup), Oakford (Cardup) and Harvey (Bunbury) remained accredited centres and the national group planned to create a branch office in WA.