To celebrate its 50th anniversary year in 2019, the Riding for the Disabled Association is marking the milestone through its 50 Faces campaign, telling the stories of some of the amazing people who make RDA the extraordinary organisation it is today.
As the son of Australian eventer Bill Levett, horses have always been a big part of Josh Levett’s life and it was almost inevitable that he would want to follow in his famous father’s footsteps.
His journey with RDA began when he was considering what to do for the volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Following a conversation with his parents, 14-year-old Josh decided to volunteer with his local RDA group, Stratford RDA, which was just up the road from where they lived.
Said Josh: “I went along to the centre and they were so welcoming that I really enjoyed being a volunteer, right from the start. For me, side-walking is the thing that I enjoy doing the most, because I love chatting to the riders, getting to know them and seeing how they progress. My dad thinks that my favourite bit is the biscuits that you get at the end of the day but this is not quite true!”
Josh has caught the Eventing bug and hopes to make eventing his profession when he finishes his education. He loves the adrenaline rush of riding cross-country and is currently competing Tommy and Smarty at Novice/CIC** level with the aim of entering his first CCI** in the near future.
“I like watching Dad ride because I can learn so much from him. He is encouraging but compared to some other people he teaches, he is much tougher on me. Dad needs to watch out though, because I have my eye on a couple of his horses!” added Josh.
Josh continues to volunteer with RDA even though he has now completed his Duke of Edinburgh Award and finds that it fits in well with his studies and riding.
“It is nice to be able to give something back to the community and seeing how much the riders love it is so rewarding. I also love feeling a part of the team at Stratford RDA. There is something special about volunteering with RDA and it’s great fun.”
Photo Credit: Fiona Scott Maxwell