Two dressage competitors supported by a Buxton-based disabled riding charity have scored five-star performances qualifying them to represent the group at a prestigious national event.

Jessica Limb of Chesterfield and Vivienne Milburn of Great Longstone – both competing on behalf of Helen Atkin Group Buxton Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) – each achieved first place in two classes at the North Midlands RDA Regional Qualifier at Scropton Horse Centre near Derby.

Jessica, riding Hexden Dancing Stranger, topped both the Grade 6 walk, trot and canter open class and the Grade 7 walk, trot and canter class. Vivienne, riding Hercules, won both the Grade 6 walk and Grade 6 walk and trot classes.

Both women will now go forward to compete against riders from across the UK in the RDA National Championships, which will be held at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, from July 14 to 16. Jessica will enter the Grade 7 class, while Vivienne will ride in the Grade 6 walk and trot class.

Two of Helen Atkin Group Buxton RDA’s junior riders, Jacob Taylor (12), of Disley, and Elsa Booth (10), of Chapel-en-le-Frith, also represented the group at the North Midlands RDA Regional Qualifier in the Class 3 Junior (led or side walker) category of the Countryside Challenge competition, also at Scropton.

Janine Frost, Chairperson of Helen Atkin Group RDA, said: ”Everyone in our close-knit team is absolutely delighted that Jess and Vivienne rode so well that they not only achieved first position in all four classes, but will also be representing us in the RDA National Championships this year.

“We’ve already achieved a great track record in both regional and national RDA competitions over the past few years, and I’m sure they will both do us proud at Hartpury College later this summer. Whatever the result, we will all be supporting them to the hilt on their special day.

“And while neither Jacob nor Elsa qualified to go forward in the Countryside Challenge, they both rode very well in what was a large and competitive class. Both they and their families and supporters had an extremely exciting and enjoyable experience and really exemplified the RDA’s motto: ‘It’s what you CAN do that counts.”

Meanwhile group volunteers and supporters are planning two fundraising events to boost the charity’s coffers. Group Secretary Deborah Ward will be opening her garden and selling coffee and cake as part of the popular annual Buxton Garden Trail on Saturday June 24 and 25. Admission to the entire trail is just £5 per person, and maps and entry wristbands are now available at The Pump Room Visitor Centre, Poole’s Cavern Visitor Centre and The Green Man Gallery in Buxton.

Riders’ parents have also organised a Rock and Roll Bingo Night at Buxton Conservative Club, Concert Place, on Thursday June 29 at 6.30pm. Raffle prizes will include afternoon tea at The Crescent and admission to Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath. Tickets, priced £15 each, are available from Laura on 07889 290411 or Ciara on 07772 059903.

Helen Atkin Group Buxton RDA is a voluntary group providing riding therapy for local disabled children and adults using selected horses and ponies based at Buxton Riding School, Fern Farm. London Road, Buxton.

New volunteers are always welcome, so if you would like to help and want to find out more, please contact Deborah Ward on 07940 516060 or email

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