National Championship for Cox after ‘beautiful’ ride

Leamington rider Neil Cox was crowned the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) national champion in Level 1 showjumping at Hartpury College last Saturday.

Neil Cox and Chris Gerrard show off their awards at Hartbury College.

The RDA National Championships is the biggest event of its kind in the world with competition classes in showjumping, countryside challenge (a type of obstacle course), dressage, carriage driving, vaulting and horse care.

Cox, 43, who is profoundly deaf, was one of six Stratford upon Avon RDA riders entered in both the countryside challenge and showjumping.

Donna Jenkins, group organiser of Stratford RDA said: “Our riders and volunteers showed amazing spirit in extremely adverse weather conditions, gaining good marks in the countryside challenge - although just being pipped at being placed.

“Luckily, the showjumping was held in the large Hartpury indoor arena, which is vast compared to our venue, but all our riders were confident and rode well. We are so proud of all of them.

“Neil rode beautifully and was ecstatic when he won the senior class. Chris Gerrard was placed third in the same class and Matthew Lane was joint sixth in the junior class.

Cox has been riding with Stratford upon Avon RDA for 20 years.

The group aims to provide riding opportunities to children and adults with disabilities in the local area and rides on Mondays and Tuesdays at Home Farm, Compton Verney.