Posted on 26th January 2024

January 2024



Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Bishop as new Chief Executive. Michael joins from Historic England and will assume the role on 8th April 2024.

Currently Director of Corporate Strategy and Business Improvement at Historic England, Michael’s career has spanned private, voluntary, and public sectors. He brings extensive leadership experience, and particular expertise in strategy and organisation development, programme and major project delivery, and income generation.

Michael’s passion for horses was sparked at an early age growing up in London, helping at the local stables in return for rides. His enthusiasm for equestrianism endures, and he now competes as a keen amateur event rider.

I do not come from an equestrian family background, but from an early visit to the local riding school I was hooked. I gained so much confidence and learnt so much about what I was capable of, beyond the classroom, through those early experiences with horses, sport, and being outdoors. That connection with a horse is the most powerful therapy I have experienced.

“Opening up that experience to more people, particularly those with less opportunity and diverse needs, is paramount to me. And that is why I am so excited about this role. RDA’s ‘can do’ ethos, and the incredible network of volunteers, local groups, and staff make a profound impact through providing disabled people with the opportunity to take part and experience the social, physical, and mental benefits of spending time with horses.”

Michael is also a Trustee of the British Racing School, which provides training and qualifications for careers in Horse Racing and is also a Trustee of London Youth, a charity which improves the lives of young people in the capital through a network of 600-member youth organisations and two residential centres.

RDA UK Chair of Trustees, Helena Vega-Lozano says:

This is an exciting appointment for RDA as we continue to evolve and develop for the future. Michael brings a unique set of skills and experience, as well as a love of horses and a personal passion for RDA and supporting disadvantaged people. I am delighted to welcome him as our new CEO, and I am confident that he will be able to lead us into the next stage of our RDA journey and shine a spotlight on the incredible impact we make for all our participants throughout the UK network.”

For more information: Please contact Lisa Davies, Head of Communications, at RDA UK on ldavies@rda.org.uk or on 01926 405968.


About RDA

At Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), our horses benefit the lives of disabled children and adults. With fun activities like riding and carriage driving, we provide therapy, fitness, skills development, and opportunities for achievement – all supported by teams of volunteers and qualified coaches at RDA groups and commercial centres all over the UK.

Over 400 RDA groups and 57 Accessibility Mark centres work with 20,000 disabled children and adults each year, supported by 13,000 volunteers and volunteer coaches.

RDA is reliant on voluntary help, donations, and legacies to deliver its services. Please donate now at www.rda.org.uk

RDA is a charity registered in England and Wales (No: 244108) and Scotland (No: SC039473).

© 2024 The Association of British Riding Schools. Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No. 3186520. Registered Charity No. 1158748

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