State-of-the-art new facilities at Brooksby Melton College’s Equine and Animal Care Centre were given the royal seal of approval by the Princess Royal today (Wednesday).
The princess, who arrived at the college’s Brooksby Campus by helicopter, unveiled a commemorative plaque to officially open the new Equestrian Rehabilitation Centre and was given a demonstration of the hi-tech equipment inside.
During her visit the princess also observed a show-jumping lesson in the outdoor arena and had a look around the extended and upgraded Equine and Animal Care Centre where she was again given a demonstration of its facilities.
Wearing a knee-length navy suit and sporting tinted glasses during what was her second visit to the campus, the princess seemed relaxed as she met staff, students, governors and guests.
And she was clearly dazzled by the cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities the campus now has to offer for the benefit of its students.
During her tour of the new Equestrian Rehabilitation Centre the Princess Royal saw the aqua treadmill in action - a facility which offers both pressure and support for a horse’s limbs to tighten core strength muscles and ligaments.
And she was also given a demonstration of the Maxuss Solarium - equipment which uses heat energy to penetrate the horse’s skin and stimulate the muscles by increasing blood circulation after competition.
The princess was also impressed by the extended and upgraded Equine and Animal Care Centre where she was able to see how dog rehabilitation and dog grooming facilities were put to use.
Brooksby Melton College principal Chris Ball said: “Throughout her visit the princess was really focussed on how our facilities benefitted the animals as well as our students and she spent a lot of time talking to staff and students, asking them about the courses they were doing and how the facilities benefitted them.
“She was very interested in the aqua treadmill and how that worked and she could see the further investment we’ve made in the college since her last visit three years ago.”
Equestrian Rehabilitation Centre manager Donna Bates added: “The princess asked us how we were getting on with the equipment which we’ve been using on college horses since the end of March.
“She was marvelling at the mechanics of it all and was very interested in talking about what benefits there were for the horses and how we maintain the equipment.
“Students spoke to her about the solarium and she asked them about the courses they were doing. She was very friendly and approachable and was genuinely interested which all made it a great experience.”
Two of the many students present for the royal visit were Fahrran Griffiths (17) and Georgie Raybould (18) who are both doing their second year Level 3 Extended Diplomas in Equine Management.
Fahrran said: “To star with I was outside the Equestrian Rehabilitation Centre welcoming her in. She was very gracious and very down-to-earth and was polite and welcoming as she came past.
“It was exciting to be a part of it and it’s something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”