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Ann Cutcliffe OBE 1943-2023

June 11, 2023 jillf 0

Published in the Horse and Hound Magazine 3rd June 2023

Ann Cutcliffe OBE, the honorary vice-president of the British Paralympic Association and influential figure in para dressage, died on 20 April, aged 80.

Mrs Cutcliffe joined the South Bucks Riding for the Disabled Association group in 1977, and soon became an instructor. She was an inspiration and joy to all the riders she taught.

She went on to hold central roles in the para equestrian world. From those riding for therapy through the RDA to athletes competing on the world stage, countless riders flourished under her support and leadership. In 2000 she was chef d’équipe for the gold medal-winning British team at the Sydney Games, and in 2004 was the chief selector for Athens, where the team again won gold.

Mrs Cutcliffe was a British Paralympic Association board member from 2001 until 2013, and was involved in charities including WheelPower and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. She was an RDA board member, a member of the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee, and served on the British Dressage (BD) committee for numerous years.

She was appointed OBE for services to para equestrian sport in the 2011 new year honours list and the next year was involved with the London 2012 International Inspiration programme, having been part of the committee during the bid process for the London Games.

Chris Porterfield, BD judge and FEI para judge and steward, said Mrs Cutcliffe was a “lady by nature and in her demeanour”.

“She was always gracious, and very good at persuading people and getting the very best out of them. It was Ann, with Inger Bryant and Jonquil Solt who really pushed the para movement forward, eventually leading to para dressage becoming an FEI discipline in 2006,” she said. “She was an inspiration to so many and we owe her a huge debt of gratitude.”

A BD spokesman said the board and staff offer sincerest condolences to Mrs Cutcliffe’s husband Peter and her family and friends: “She will be greatly missed and warmly remembered by so many within para dressage and para sport as a whole.”

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June 9, 2023 jillf 0

Congratulations to John-James Entwistle who was presented with the Rachel Plumbe Cup on 6th June by South Region Chair, Frances Lochrane. The Rachel Plumbe Cup is awarded once a year to a participant who has achieved much, despite challenging and difficult conditions.

John-James Entwistle who has  rare genetic disease that resulted in sight loss at the age of 12, an ongoing progressive loss of hearing and with other issues associated with the condition.  JJ started riding with Andover RDA in January 2022 at the age of 27.  Despite no previous riding experience, only being able to ride once a fortnight and being coached in a group situation he has made huge progress due to his positive outlook and ‘can do’ approach to everything; his answer to anything you ask him to do is ‘I’ll give it a go’ or ‘I’ll try’.  He can now mount and dismount with minimal help and is starting to ride more independently.