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Princess Anne visits INS

Article Date: 11-March-2012

Following the visit of her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last year, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne visited the Irish National Stud yesterday (Saturday, 10th March).

The privately organised Royal visit and tour mirrored that of The Queen’s and Princess Anne came face to face with some of the finest thoroughbreds in the world, including the Stud’s flagship sire, Invincible Spirit along with Big Bad Bob.

The Princes Royal joined guests, including Irish National Stud CEO, John Osborne; Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD; Chairperson of the National Stud, Lady O’Reilly; horse trainer Dermot Weld and Elizabeth Gordon, President of  Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland (RDA-I,) on a private tour of The Irish National Stud, which includes national treasures such as The Japanese Gardens, The Black Abbey, and St Fiachara’s Garden.

“We didn’t anticipate another Royal visit so soon after the historic event of May 2011 so reports of that trip must have been very favourable,” said John Osborne.  “Princess Anne’s knowledge of the equine industry is obviously exceptional and we were proud to be able to showcase some of our finest active and also retired racehorses against the beautiful backdrop of the National Stud.  The Royal family has a real affinity with horse-racing and it was a pleasure to host The Princes Royal who really seemed to enjoy the visit. ”

Princess Anne is President of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and she was treated to a brilliant pony-riding and carriage driving display from some of the RDA-I students, all of whom were presented with Rosettes by the Princess Royal.  RDA-I is a voluntary organisation which provides any person with a physical or intellectual ability with an opportunity for recreational and therapeutic riding or carriage driving.

During her tour, the Princess was introduced to retired racehorses – Vintage Crop, Florida Pearl and Moscow Flyer, the latter of which is an ambassador for the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.

Her tour continued with an introduction to students from the Stud management course, who have come to Ireland from as far afield as Uruguay, China and Australia.

Last year The Queen unveiled a specially commissioned sculpture, Sea of Stars, which was shown and explained as part of the tour.

The Princess was accompanied by her husband, Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence.

For well over 100 years, the Irish National Stud in Tully has been a working stud farm. Its main activity is breeding thoroughbreds capable of being crowned champions – both in Ireland and overseas.  However, whilst renowned as a centre of equine excellence, the Irish National Stud is much more and is also home to acres of gardens, a museum and educational centre and stunning natural landscapes.

Photos of the visit will be published in the next edition of The Irish Field.

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