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Samford RDA a Centre of Excellence

The Samford RDA centre at Samford Showgrounds has once again achieved Centre of Excellence accreditation by Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia (RDAA).


We recently welcomed RDAA Assessor, Sally Watson from Victoria, who visited the centre to complete a three-yearly check of facilities and operational standards. Sally reviewed our practices in governance, participant management, property management and horse health and welfare management. It is the third time our centre has received the highest level of accreditation.


Samford RDA is part of a large network of affiliated RDA centres operating under the RDAQ and RDAA governing bodies. The title of ‘Centre of Excellence’ reflects exceptional standards and confirms that Samford RDA meets all the strict standards of practice.

Our centre comprises a fully covered arena with adjoining saddling area and horse yards, and several associated buildings including an administration office and tack shed. Our horses are agisted in surrounding paddocks at the showgrounds and work year-round with adults and children with a wide range of disabilities, providing them with both physical and intellectual benefits. According to the RDAQ Annual Report, Samford RDA last year recorded the largest number of riders in a Queensland RDA centre, including the largest number of female riders and the largest participation rate for young riders under 18.

Our President Michael Costelo said the result was due largely to the commitment of volunteers and local community support…


"Samford RDA is, and always has been a team effort. The previous committees and volunteers and coaches from our early days 17 years ago all the way up today are the backbone of this operation, and they can all feel proud of what they have achieved and continue to achieve. There is a need in the Moreton Bay City Council and Brisbane City Council areas for disability support services. We fill part of that need and depend on the ongoing support of volunteers, the Council and local contributors."


Local contributions include centre and horse sponsorships, donations and in-kind support. An example is a recent donation by The Gap/Ashgrove Lions who paid for a saddle, horse gear and a horse first aid kit. This generous contribution was organised through Lions member and Samford RDA volunteer Donal Smith.

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