An 11-year-girl from Cheshire, suffering from cancer, was granted her wish last month when she met showjumper Ellen Whitaker at the Horse of the Year Show.

Make-A-Wish Foundation UK – a charity that grants wishes to children fighting life-threatening illnesses – arranged the meeting for keen rider Lauren Bernado.

Ellen said: “I was really pleased to meet Lauren. She seemed like a very special little girl and she is certainly horse-mad, which is good!”

Lauren was able to enjoy the Pony Club mounted games and the musical ride of the Household Cavalry before meeting Ellen in the warm-up ring and asking her about her showjumping career.

Lauren’s mother Cara said: “This is something that we could never have arranged for her. The way her eyes lit up when she met Ellen was just lovely.”

In January 2010 Lauren was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (a cancerous tumour of the muscles) and had to undergo chemotherapy for six months.

There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening illness.

In a year 1,200 children will turn to Make-A-Wish to have their dreams realised but the charity needs to raise £5.5m to achieve this.

To refer a child for a wish or to make a donation, visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk