A London riding school received a diamond jubilee plaque from the British Horse Society (BHS) on the 70th birthday of its proprietress.

Aldersbrook Riding School and Livery Stables in Wanstead received the award — in recognition of 25 years of BHS approval — on 29 August, when founder Ida Thorne was celebrating her birthday.

Administrator at the school Jan Hawkins said: “We were surprised to win the award, but it was a lovely coincidence that it arrived on Ida’s birthday. It was a double celebration.”

“We’re in quite a deprived area,” said Jan of their urban surroundings, “but visiting our school is like going into Narnia — it’s an oasis for children to learn things about the countryside. But we need financial help so we can buy some much-needed equipment.”

Ms Thorne — who established the school 33 years ago — personally funded the construction of a new indoor arena at the school, but she is now looking for sponsorship to purchase lighting and jumps.

The BHS has issued plaques to 41 centres to celebrate its diamond jubilee. To receive BHS Approval establishments are required to ensure that high standards of health and safety and horse welfare are maintained.

If you would like to sponsor Albersbrook [tel: 0208 5304 648].