First corporate sponsor welcomed

Ross Pickering from Samford Garage has been a strong supporter of Samford RDA since our inception, so it was fitting that Ross should become our first corporate centre sponsor!

Ross jumped at the opportunity to be the first business to sponsor Samford RDA on the Samford Showgrounds. His business, Samford Garage, has operated in Samford since 1968 and Ross is a well known local identity.

We were very pleased to welcome Ross to the centre recently to check out his signage, which is offered to corporate centre sponsors, and to receive a certificate of thanks from President Jo. Ross’s ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

Samford is an RDAA Centre of Excellence which will continue to develop with the help of corporate and private sponsors. Lighting to the Jenny O’Malley Arena is currently underway, and there are plans to upgrade the surface.

For enquiries about corporate centre sponsorships, call Kalie on 0415 393 046.

Ross and Jo low res

Holidays and Samford Show

School holidays are fast approaching, so here are some important dates:-

Last lesson days for the term are Wed June 27th, Fri June 29th and Sat June 30th. All the horses will be moved from the grounds on Sat 30th and Sun 1st.

Working Bee – Sunday 1st July from 9am. This is to prepare the grounds for the Samford Show. We need assistance to dismantle the electric fencing around the dog arena, clean up the paddocks, clear out the hay shed and other sundry bits and pieces.

Samford Show – July 14th and 15th. We are once again having our information stall and, hopefully, conducting the Pig Racing sweepstakes as per usual. We will require volunteers to man the stall and assist with selling the racing raffle tickets. It’s all great fun, so if you would like to help, please contact me.

Working Bee – Tuesday 17th July from 9am. This is to re-instate the fencing, clean-up after the Show and generally get everything ship-shape for the new lesson term.

Lessons re-start – Wed July 25th, Fri July 27th and Sat July 28th.

CommBank boost to lighting project

Thank you CommBank for selecting Samford RDA as one of a thousand community organisations across Australia to receive a $10,000 CommBank Foundation Centenary Grant.

This very welcome donation will be used to bridge a funding gap involving our latest centre improvement project – power connection and installation of energy-efficient lighting in our arena. The grant follows recent State Government funding for this project provided under the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Branch Manager of CommBank Arana Hills, Bryan Hadden, recently visited our centre to present the cheque, explaining that his staff had successfully nominated Samford RDA as a worthy Foundation Grant recipient.

“This year, the bank is celebrating 100 years of Commonwealth Bank employees donating to local community groups, charities and disadvantaged schools.

“What started as our people creating care packages to send to troops fighting on the frontline in 1917 has now grown to over 13,700 of our people donating regularly to provide grants to support the wellbeing of the Australian community”.

To the staff at CommBank Arana Hill, we extend a very sincere thank you. Your support will ensure that we continue to assist many adults and children with disabilities.

President Jo receives a cheque and certificate from Bryan Hadden.

President Jo receives a cheque and certificate from Bryan Hadden.

Hello Johnny!

Newcomer to the RDA herd, Johnny, had a visit recently from some very special admirers – his sponsors and members of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) 9630.

Johnny joined the program following the retirement of Millhouse, who had been sponsored by RYLA 9630 for the past few years. RYLA is a Rotary initiative supporting young people to develop interpersonal and leadership skills and members from Rotary District 9630 come from a huge area extending from central Queensland to the NSW border.

Thank you very much RYLA! Your gold sponsorship of Johnny will help to meet his feed, vet and care expenses during the year.

Johnny RYLA


*In conjunction with our successful horse sponsorship program, Samford RDA has launched a centre sponsorship program which offers permanent signage at the RDA centre at Samford Showgrounds. If you’re interested, please contact us on 0458 246 883 or via this website.

New Centre Sponsor

Samford RDA welcomes its first participant under our new Centre Sponsorship program. Samford Garage have been long term supporters of ours, and we are delighted that Ross Pickering and Co have decided to continue this under a more formal arrangement. Thank you Samford Garage! Find out more about Samford Garage at

Samford Garage Logo high definition 2016

‘Green light’ for arena lighting project

It’s always good to see our local representatives drop by, but we were particularly pleased to welcome State Member for Pine Rivers, Nikki Boyd, this week. Nikki’s visit was to confirm that Samford RDA will receive $35,000 from the State Government’s Gambling Community Benefit Fund to help pay for power connection and lighting in our covered arena.

The lighting initiative will open opportunities for night-time use of the arena including an expanded RDA lesson program and arena hire. Lighting will also assist on days with heavy cloud cover and limited natural light.

We were fortunate to receive funding support from both the State Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council several years ago which allowed us to roof the arena and mounting yard – and installing low-energy LED lighting is one of several steps in the ongoing development of this facility. Upgrading the surface of the riding arena is also on the drawing board.

Samford RDA thanks the Queensland Government for this latest financial support, which will cover much of the cost involved. Thank you Nikki for supporting our grant application!

Carmel & Nikki (low res)During her visit, Nikki spent some time with her sponsored horse Charlie. Pictured with them is our Treasurer, Carmel McGrath, outside the arena (click to enlarge).

Celebrating 10 years

Thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and special guests who helped celebrate our 10th anniversary at Rangers’ Football Club on Saturday, December 9. It was a great evening, despite the last minute storm which took out power to parts of the venue.

Volunteers with more than five years’ service received personalised name badges, and Rhiannon spoke about her experience as a long-time coach at Samford RDA. Unfortunately, our founding and Life Member, Clare Emerson, was unable to attend, but her husband Nigel spoke on her behalf, outlining the challenges encountered in the early days of the centre.

Thanks to the generosity and support of the Samford Valley community and our local, State and Federal representatives, Samford RDA has grown from a few volunteers operating out of their cars to a fully equipped centre with an all-weather riding arena. This amazing support continues… our Federal Member, Peter Dutton, kindly donated a lucky door prize for the evening; the Rangers’ Football Club waived the venue hire fee and went out of their way to assist us; and the Show Society generously waived our agistment fees for 2017. Thank you all very much!

(Click to enlarge)

Special thanks also to Sarah Hellen, who did an amazing job organising the evening. Thanks Sarah!

Call for volunteers

Our program cannot exist without an army of volunteers. Some riders require 3 people to participate in a class, plus the horse! So we are always looking for new helpers.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please consider RDA. You don’t require a background in horses, and you will be fully trained in RDA safety procedures. You can give as little or as much time as you wish, and you are sure to enjoy the social aspect of RDA.

It is mandatory for all volunteers to attend a formal training session prior to assisting with the classes or the horses. The dates for training sessions are posted on this page as they are announced, and listed under the VOLUNTEERS tab above. Of course, anyone is welcome to come to the centre at any time during classes to observe what we do, or to assist in other ways such as grounds and gear maintenance.