On Thursday 25th May, Her Majesty The Queen visited Eland Lodge Equestrian Centre to see the exceptional equestrian facilities in action. The private visit was conducted within the Needwood Survey which is part of The Duchy of Lancaster Estate owned by Her Majesty The Queen as The Duke of Lancaster.
Once arrived, Her Majesty, dressed in royal blue, proceeded to the Royal Viewing Platform. Among those presented to The Queen were John and Veronica Coupland of Eland Lodge Equestrian.
Managing Director John Coupland spoke about the visit “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 whole heartedly 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!”.
From the viewing platform, The Queen enjoyed the view over the 65 acre cross country course and watched a small team of riders tackling a number of fences and combinations, including the Newborough Leap, Dubarry Water complex, the Dew Pond, the Broken Bridge and the Log Stacks.
Riding the course were four local Pony Club members: India Edwards & Josie Coupland from the South Staffordshire Hunt Branch of The Pony Club, and Sally Ann Turkington & Izzy Mead from the Meynell Hunt Branch of The Pony Club. Once the demonstration was complete, the riders were presented to the Queen.
Izzy Mead, rider, said: “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.”
Once the presentation was complete, Her Majesty was driven through the site to take in the on-site equestrian & country store, livery yard and all weather show jumping and dressage arena.