Alexandra Reeves, a 20-year-old college student from Yale, one of America’s elite Ivy League universities, flew into Britain last weekend to take part in a special polo match against Oxford and Cambridge.

According to newspaper reports, Alexandra is an accomplished rider, having spent much of her life around horses in spite of her father’s tragic riding accident in 1995.

Christopher Reeve, who starred in the title role of two Superman Hollywood blockbusters, was thrown from his Thoroughbred horse Eastern Express while riding cross-country in a one-day event in Virginia when he landed head first, fracturing the uppermost vertebrae in his spine and was instantly paralysed from the neck down and unable to breathe without a respirator.

Since the accident the actor, who is a tireless fundraising campaigner for funds to aid research into spinal and nerve replacement, has shown tremendous courage and determination in his battle to walk again.

“Alexandra is aware of the dangers,” a friend told the Daily Mail, “but what happened to her father was a freak accident.”