Suffolk riding centre thrilled as its president, Princess Anne, visits
- Credit: Archant
There was a Royal visit to Suffolk today, as Princess Anne made a rescheduled trip to the Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding.
The Princess Royal stopped off for a socially-distanced visit at the centre, near Hadleigh, where she is president.
She was met by Vice Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Robert Rous, who introduced her to the centre’s landlords Jane Crowe and Andrew Scott.
Princess Anne also met with the centre’s past chairman Val Cadman, stable manager Lyn Bensusan, and current chairman Jan Derbyshire.
As part of her visit, she was treated to a demonstration of a therapy session on computerised horse Ebony, with the centre one of the first to use it as a therapy tool.
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The Princess Royal presented 35-year and 30-year awards to some of the longer-serving volunteers at the centre, as well as certificates to riders who have been with the organisation for more than 20 years.
She also presented Rebecca Page with her Asdan Award and Rebecca Jackaman with her Gold Horse Care Award.
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The Princess Royal first visited the group in 1985 when it was based at Frogs Hall in Hadleigh.
At this point, the centre was only operating two days a week from a riding school.
Since then, it has gone from strength to strength - including fundraising for a purpose-built centre to be constructed in 1989.
Around 100 volunteers currently work at the centre.
It offers support and rehabilitation to around 120 adults and children a week throughout term times, providing therapeutic horse riding for those with special needs.
Princess Anne visited Suffolk in November last year, where she stopped by Livability Icanho in Stowmarket, Racing Welfare in Newmarket and BT’s headquarters in Adastral Park, Martlesham.
She was due to visit the Shelley Centre earlier in the year to mark its 30th anniversary in its current location, but her planned visit had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.
After speaking to the riders, some of the coaches, a couple of parents and being introduced to the horses at the centre, the visit ended with her unveiling a special anniversary plaque.