Four Pony Club members had the chance to show off their cross-country skills in front of The Queen – and met Her Majesty in person.
South Staffordshire Hunt branch members India Edwards and Josie Coupland, with Meynell Hunt branch riders Ann Turkington and Izzy Mead, tackled fences including two water jumps, the Newborough Leap and log piles at Eland Lodge Equestrian Centre on 25 May.
The Queen’s private visit, to see the equestrian facilities, was part of a tour of the Needwood Survey, a collection of properties in the Duchy of Lancaster of which Her Majesty is the owner.
Eland Lodge managing director John Coupland said: “We are extremely happy that Her Majesty has made time in an incredibly busy schedule to visit the Needwood Survey and Eland Lodge in particular.
“The whole country knows of Her Majesty’s love of horses and we are thrilled to have had the chance to show off the equestrian centre we have created here at Eland Lodge.
“We have commitment to entry level riding and believe wholeheartedly in the development of the next generation of riders through training, competition and enjoyment and it was a wonderful endorsement of that belief to have Her Majesty on site to watch four members of the Pony Club demonstrating their excellent skill on our cross-country course. It was a very special day for all concerned.”
The Queen watched the riders on the 65-acre cross-country course from a viewing platform, after which all four were presented to her.
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“I was really nervous but so excited to ride for The Queen. All the horses were brilliant and I’m really proud of my horse Cracker. It was an amazing experience to meet The Queen,” said Izzy.
Eland Lodge is due to hold its second British Eventing fixture of 2017 on 1-2 July. It also runs British Dressage, British Showjumping and unaffiliated competition.