Twenty London families received riding and stable management lessons over the October half-term holiday, thanks to the Emile Faurie Foundation.

Funded by Westminster Council and in partnership with the Olympic rider’s charity for disadvantaged, the families were given the opportunity to learn how to ride and look after horses for free at Vauxhall City Farm, with training from Emile.

David Gadsby of the British Equestrian Federation [BEF] said: “We are generating a legacy from the London 2012 Games and welcome this wonderful initiative thanks to Westminster Council.

“This is an opportunity for new riders to meet an Olympian, and to realise that riding, and just being around horses, is something everyone can enjoy. Even in the centre of London it is possible to truly escape into another world.”

Emile said: “I am delighted that The Foundation has teamed up with Vauxhall City Farm to provide children and their families with the opportunity to ride and care for horses. I am grateful to Westminster City Council for their financial support and it was great to visit the farm.”

Linda Hinds, riding manager at Vauxhall City Farm, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to reach our local community, introduce them to the farm and let them enjoy our oasis in the middle of the city.”