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Tribute to Anita Lambe, Vice Chairman of the BHS Northern Ireland Committee

8 Apr 2021

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A life well lived!

Anita Lambe

Passed Away early on Monday 15 March 2021

Anita was born in Belfast on 1 December 1939. One of six girls she went to Park Parade School on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast.

She sang in a gospel choir as a teenager and tutored the church choir as well. She loved to sing and sang at every opportunity. As a child she was by nature a bit of a tomboy and loved being outdoors.

Anita was 25 when she first encountered horses when pony trekking in Kilbroney Forest, Rostrevor. Horses were to become an abiding passion for the rest of her life.

Anita rode and taught at Millbridge Riding School for many years and was loved by all her pupils. She was involved with the Ballystockart Riding for the Disabled (RDA ) Group, based at Millbridge Riding School from 1970 and went on to become involved in the RDA at Regional Level with the appointment as Regional Instructor in 1985 and continued in this role and as a member of the Regional Committee until 2001. Anita was also editor of the RDA Magazine for many years until 2010. She was an enthusiastic and skilled member of the RDA team bringing her skills as a raconteur to the entertaining and informative commentary on the RDA displays at the Balmoral Show and contributed greatly over the years to the success of the RDA holidays at Necarne and Castlewellan.

In 2013 Anita Lambe received the Riding for the Disabled Association’s highest award ‘The President's Award’ for exceptional dedication to the association over many years from Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.

More recently, although she had retired from active coaching, she was often to be found at RDA events encouraging and supporting others to keep up the good work.

Anita was a committed organiser of the North Down Pony Club Junior Camp from 1985 to 2005 which was held at Ardigon Estate. She loved the young ones and gave them such confidence – teaching them songs and encouraging them to love and care for their ponies.

Anita joined the BHS Northern Ireland Committee in 1998 as the RDA representative and was a staunch supporter of everything that took place. She was both Chairman and Vice Chairman of the committee over the years. Anita was always there to help out at whatever training event, camp, competition, pleasure ride or show that the British Horse Society was involved with in Ireland. Her wisdom and calm presence of mind was valued by all.

A natural raconteur – Anita always had an interesting story to tell. Always positive and supportive of everyone around her.

Writing stories and poetry was also a passion and she produced two books of poignant, humorous and thought provoking verses and short stories – “Wind the Clock Back” and “Back in the Day”.

Music was a great love and Anita played nearly every musical instrument imaginable – the piano, violin, guitar, banjo, the harp, the penny whistle. And was generous with passing on her musical knowledge to those who wanted to learn. The above gives a snap shot of Anita’s life – there is much more that could be told of a life generously and well lived. Anita leaves her legacy to the world behind – a beautiful and talented daughter Barbara Sweeney, two books, friends, colleagues and young people that are better off for having been supported and influenced by Anita’s generosity of spirit plus horses and animals that have been happier because of her care and love for them.

We wish you well Anita and look forward to meeting again….

And as you always signed yourself off “Aye till the ship sinks”

Anita Lambe

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