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Princess Royal visits Victoria therapeutic horse riding facility

Princess Anne watched and handed out ribbons to VTRA riders

Five riders with the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association displayed their equestrian skills to the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, and her husband Sir Tim Lawrence when they visited the facility in Saanichton on Sunday, May 6.

The Princess Royal awarded ribbons to the riders, including six-year-old Elliot Burns, who was recognized for his perseverance.

“Hopefully that left the impression that these programs are really, really important and these kids are really happy. It’s amazing that she got to see that and we got to participate. I feel very proud,” said Burns mother, Genevive Parent, in a news release.

Parent noted Burns has quadriplegic CP, and riding has not only helped him get physically stronger, he’s also become good friends with his horse Bangsie.

“We discussed my balance, which is really shaky if I’m not in a wheelchair. She said to me ‘Well, sitting on a horse is a great equalizer isn’t it?’ I told her that’s absolutely right, when I sit on this horse, I don’t think about the wheelchair and I’m a different person,” said Pippa Blake, another rider with the VTRA.

The VTRA was one of multiple stops she made in Greater Victoria, which included participating in a service marking the Battle of the Atlantic at the legislature.

Read More: Princess Anne lays wreath at Battle of Atlantic ceremony in Victoria