THE Princess Royal dropped in for a contest at the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Welburn Hall School Group last weekend.

Princess Anne met the visiting mayors, the school's head teacher and RDA staff before group organiser Elspeth Crookenden invited the Princess Royal into the newly-refurbished arena to watch a "Snakes and Ladders Obstacle Challenge" display.

Ms Crookenden said: “All the riders performed very well and gave a well-practised salute to HRH before leaving the arena.

"They then lined up followed by all the other pupils who ride with the RDA group to be presented with a Royal Blue Rosette.

“It was a wonderful occasion and the Princess talked to most of the children and also the volunteers, some of whom were presented with Long Service Awards.

“She then met some of the sponsors and supporters before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

"She was very supportive of a need for a special school like Welburn Hall School and was pleased that it had managed to keep going.”

She added that the Princess was then presented with flowers by Alice Lamb and a jar of award-winning Fadmoor honey by Zac Norton, and baskets with rosettes were carried by Bethany Fuigill and Beatrice Baldwin.

Ms Crookenden thanked all the donors and supporters who made all this possible, and added: “Not forgetting the amazing dedication of the volunteers who come each week, some transporting ponies in to give the children a chance to ride in a safe refurbished sand arena.”

The Welburn Hall riding group attends regional finals and national competitions for dressage as organised by the RDA. It has also become a show jumping group and an endurance group.