The Princess Royal was “delighted” by a demonstration of dressage to music in tutus as she visited a Warwickshire Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) centre.

Princess Anne officially opened Lowlands Farm RDA’s new dressage simulator Charley last Wednesday (13 July), and presented long-service awards to volunteers and some “very special” horses and ponies.

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The RDA president also enjoyed a handy pony display, courtesy of the Centre of England, Lapworth and Fen End RDAs. Daniel Timms demonstrated trotting and cantering Charley on a beach and through a forest, thanks to a screen with the simulator which can show a number of different environments including a dressage arena.

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A spokesman for Lowlands Farm RDA said: “As a gold medal-winning Olympian herself, the Princess Royal was fascinated by the sophisticated dressage moves the simulator can make and the huge benefits it gives to our disabled riders.

“Lowlands Farm riders Dawn McBride and Zia Clayton rode dressage to music, complete with tutus and wands, the delighted face of the Princess Royal said it all!

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Lowlands Farm RDA chairman Ro Pudden MBE had welcomed more than 250 guests, riders and volunteers who gathered for the occasion.

The spokesman added: “A huge thank you to all our volunteers and supporters; we couldn’t do the wonderful work we do without you. Also thank you to all the guests who came to join us at the opening.

“We would love to hear from anyone who may benefit from riding with us, no experience is needed.

“As one of our riders said: ‘Sometimes I feel trapped in this body but when I ride it feels like I can run again – only the horse is my legs. I feel alive again when I’m riding.’”


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Lowlands Farm RDA is always looking for volunteers.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, or call 01926 843403.