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Joan Lathaen

We are very sorry to announce the sad passing of Joan Lathaen, in December 2021, after a short illness. Joan will be greatly missed by the trustees, volunteers, participants of Formby and Southport RDA and the Region. A lovely tribute has been written by Lin Marks, her friend, who volunteered with Joan for many years. Joan’s funeral was held in January for immediate family only, due to Covid, but they are planning a memorial service for later in the year.

Tribute to Joan Lathaen.

“Joan and I started volunteering at Formby and Southport RDA, based at Bowler’s Riding School, on the same day in September 1986. Joan was a regular rider at Mary’s and she had asked Joan if she would be willing to help with the RDA. I had answered a plea for help in the local paper, having been a keen rider in my youth, and as I loved being around horses I thought that I would give it a try, and that was the start of a friendship which lasted over 35 years, sadly ending with Joan’s passing in December 2021.

We began by volunteering on a Tuesday morning, when there were two rides, the first having eight children and the second eight adults. At the time there seemed to be plenty of people willing to help with volunteering, although sadly, the same cannot be said these days. Having been with the horses and ponies, at RDA, I soon got the riding bug again and was able to join Joan on her lessons and then in later years on some great hacks in the pinewoods and Formby beach.

It didn’t take long before we were both asked to become committee members and then later as coaches. I had to give up the coaching after a couple of years because I found it very difficult to attend training sessions due to work commitments and also having my ageing mother living with us. Joan however, continued right up to her death, also taking charge of the Monday ride and organising the volunteers for that.

Joan was a very dedicated member of RDA. attending nearly all the county and regional days as well as being our group’s secretary for many years ably supported by her husband Richard who was often seen with Joan at events.

The highlight of her RDA life was a visit to the Riding School in September 2021 by The Princess Royal to celebrate its 80 years and also starting our RDA group 52 years ago, when The Princess presented Joan with her 35 year service award.

To sum up Joan was a great asset to RDA. and will be sorely missed by the trustees, volunteers, participants both in our group and the Region.”

Lin Marks.


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