Pat Burgess   August 1930 - November 2020  


Pat died on a sunny Wednesday which was most appropriate as an RDA video called ‘The sun always shines on a Wednesday’ was all about RDA and Pats life. It all began many years ago when Pat joined in with the disabled riding started by Nobby Clarke at Grovely riding school in Wilton. Inspired by what riding could give to disabled people she set up, along with Lady Claire Pembroke, Wilton RDA. Initially with a few ponies and many willing volunteers she would give rides along the tracks by Wilton House. She loved to encourage smiling riders to wave to Lord Pembroke as they passed his office window. From Pony rides to BBQ’s and canoeing by the river Pat brought people together to provide fun for families with children and adults with disabilities.  Pats determination to fund raise and provide more riding led to Lord Pembroke kindly offering to give her some land for a more permanent site.  The site for our Centre was personally chosen by Pat after much deliberation as she deemed it to be the perfect position for the indoor and outdoor schools and a gentle uphill walk to woods for a trail ride. As a hugely respected show jumping coach Pat had many contacts and with typical spirt, she asked for help and many wonderful people gave their services and time for free to create what is known as The Pembroke Centre.


Pat was an indomitable energy who loved horses, teaching, children and especially this Centre to which she committed the most of her life. We, who knew her benefitted from all of her many different facets. She was inspiring with her enthusiasm, energy, sayings, strength, and kindness. She always said that she runs this place on ‘Love, Joy and Enthusiasm’. She was a powerhouse of a person who could match the right person with right horse and get the right result. We can all recall something Pat said that struck a chord with us and helped to shape our world. She was a mentor. She guided. She understood and saw the best in people. Her positivity would find a way and amazingly most things found a way for Pat. She recognised emotion in people and brought it out in all who met her. Her journey touched so many of our lives and we found the ‘spirit’ with her. Never one to like things with a ‘Dis’ she wanted to enable the light to shine though everybody, to bring ‘love’ into what you are doing with horse and rider. This special person who had a ‘YES’ stick to keep her going in later life will never be forgotten.





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