End of an era: Rachel Medill MBE hands over the reins to Olivia Sugdon
After 11 years as Ride High’s Chief Executive, Founder Rachel Medill MBE is stepping down and handing over the reins to Olivia Sugdon.
In 2008 Rachel set up Ride High, a charity that uses horses to transform the lives of disadvantaged children. Eleven years on, through huge amounts of hard work, dedication and support from the charity team, local sponsors and volunteers, the charity now works with 88 children a week and has a wonderful permanent base in the Ride High Equestrian Centre, set in 37 acres in the centre of Milton Keynes. It’s an amazing achievement.
Rachel has been the driving force behind Ride High helping over 1,500 children find hope, self-confidence and a better path in life. Her dedication and achievements were recognised in 2016 when she received an MBE for her services to young people.
Rachel commented “For every child there comes a time when he or she is strong enough to leave Ride High and fly by themselves. For Ride High itself, that time has come. I have now handed over to a new Chief Executive knowing that this amazing organisation will go from strength to strength. In Olivia Sugdon we have a person with huge experience and skills and on top of all that she has real enthusiasm and passion for Ride High - she even has horses of her own.”
“My plans are to remain closely connected with the charity as an ambassador - after a rest in the form of a 3 month sabbatical. I won’t be working onsite but can be contacted via the charity”.
“At this momentous time I want to recognise that it would not have been possible to have created Ride High without all the people who have helped us along the way on this extraordinary journey, who have given so much in various ways. And to our dedicated volunteers without whom Ride High would not exist. Together we have created an organisation out of nothing”.
“I am personally immensely grateful. It has been a privilege to work with so many of you to change so many lives for the better.”
New CEO Olivia Sugdon commented “I feel incredibly honoured and privileged to have been appointed Rachel’s successor in the role of CEO at Ride High”.
“My childhood years were spent riding, growing up in the Pony Club and later experiencing a good spectrum of horse disciplines including Polo, Eventing and Dressage. Today, I’m still competing in Dressage around work and family”.
“Ride High resonates with me, not only from the equine side, but also as a mother, and someone who understands the benefit of a stable, encouraging environment”.
“From a successful commercial career in Healthcare, I am delighted to enter this new chapter at Ride High. Exciting times are ahead, and I look forward, not only to building on Rachel’s phenomenal success, but also working with our supporters to help many more children in the coming years”.
The Ride High Development Centre is a social enterprise, and all profits from the Ride High Development Centre are donated back to the Ride High charity.