YOUNGSTERS at Farnham Riding for the Disabled have received a special visit from the Princess Royal.

Princess Anne, who is president of the national Riding for the Disabled Association, watched a full lesson, presented the children with rosettes and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion last Friday.

Sue Griffiths, a riding coach at the charity’s stables near Alton, said: “It was a huge honour that Her Royal Highness came to visit us and it went very well indeed.

“She was so charming and lovely, and was very interested in our teaching methods and how we help the children ride the ponies. The children were all so excited to meet her and she was delighted to chat with them. She was very relaxed and it was an absolute joy.”

Farnham Riding for the Disabled has been active since the early 1960s and provides weekly riding experiences for around 25 disabled children from William Cobbett School in Weybourne and The Abbey in Farnham.

Running costs are kept to a minimum but funds are needed to pay rent, buy special equipment, hats, boots and games that can be played on horseback.

Each child also needs a minimum of two helpers – one to lead and be responsible for the pony and the others to walk alongside helping the rider. For this reason, helpers are needed who are able to walk briskly and sometimes run short distances. Training will be provided and experience with horses is not essential.

Anyone who can help should e-mail [email protected] or call 0845 2416390.