HRH Princess Royal – a former equestrian silver and gold medal winner at the European Eventing Championships and the first member of the Royal Family to compete in the Olympics – visited the farm to open the new stables which have been funded by Sport England and will see the number of horses and ponies at the farm rise to twelve.
The event started with HRH Princess Royal being given a tour of the farm and being introduced to members of staff and volunteers before meeting the ponies and being admiring the new facilities. She was then treated to a riding display from a selection of children from local schools who benefit from the RDA lessons at Vauxhall City Farm.
After unveiling the commemorative plaque, HRH presented the riders with rosettes and gave certificates of service to staff and volunteers including long service awards to Linda Hinds, former Riding Centre Manager, and Alison Ewen, RDA instructor, who have both been working with RDA groups at the farm for more than a decade. Alana Wyncoll aged 14, a young farmer then presented HRH with a small posy of flowers to thank her for her visit.
The addition of the new stables will help expand Vauxhall City Farm’s community riding project and provide more riding for disabled children and adults as well as subsidised lessons for local children who would not normally have access to this sport. The Farm also provides riding lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders in both individual and group sessions.
Vauxhall City Farm Chief Executive, Matthew Lock commented:
“We’d like to thank HRH Princess Royal for taking the time to be with us today to celebrate the opening of our new stables. Our mission is to bring a taste of the countryside to the inner city and to give young, disabled and under-privileged people access to activities and experiences that they can’t get anywhere else. Adding these horses and ponies to our Farm is a big step forward for us as we try to reach more people and make a difference in more young lives in London.”
Vauxhall City Farm attracts over 20,000 visitors a year. It delivers educational programmes to over 80 local schools and charities, has a popular ‘animals out’ programme which allows community groups to enjoy its mobile farm, and has a fully accredited riding centre which delivers tailored sessions for disabled people, schools and community groups.