A South Hams disability charity has been celebrating after winning a place in a national equestrian competition.

Erme Valley Riding for Disabled, based in Ivybridge, competed in the Riding for Disabled Association countryside challenge and dressage regional qualifier for the south west of England on Tuesday, May 15.

Held at Lakefield Eques­trian Centre, the event enables riders to qualify for the annual Riding for Disabled National Championships, which is held in late July at Hartpury College, Glouces­tershire.

The Erme Valley group took seven horses, 14 riders and a dedicated team of volunteers to the regional event held near Camelford, Cornwall, which unites RDA Groups from across the south west.

Ten riders from Erme Valley were successful in qualifying for the National Championships which brings together RDA Groups from all over the UK to compete against each other in a friendly and encouraging environment.

Mikey Bygrave, Cara Whitfield-Smith, Patrick Pearce, Kirsty Mabin, Nia Rundle and Alyssa Britton were successful in qualifying in dressage while Martin Stewart, Sarah Baker, Sam Underhill and Henry Slade saw success in qualifying for the countryside challenge event.

The championships hosts a wide range of events, ranging from show-jumping and dressage competitions to arts and crafts, horse care and management, allowing competitive opportunities for all abilities and physical capabilities.

The popular event allows riders to strive for personal goals, improves self-esteem and confidence and most of all, is a fantastic opportunity for riders and volunteers alike to have fun, create long-lasting memories and come away with a real sense of achievement.

The Erme Valley group of riders are thrilled to be able to compete at the championships once again this July and the prganisation is incredibly proud of all riders who were able to qualify at Lakefield.