Queenie the mechanical horse became a real star of the show when she appeared at HorseWorldLive, at London’s ExCel centre. Visitors waited patiently to meet her and took their place for a ride aboard this realistic simulator, named in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
More than 300 show-goers of all ages – including event rider Lucinda Fredericks – put Queenie through her paces to sample the fun that can be had in the saddle.
Queenie’s visit to HorseWorldLive was all thanks to Take up the Reins, a national initiative to promote horse riding and raise the profile of equestrian sport. It is organised by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) as part of Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) Olympic Legacy campaign.
“We had a wonderful three days at HorseWorldLive and were thrilled to give so many visitors the opportunity to try out horse riding for themselves,” said Take up the Reins tour co-ordinator Tina Rogers. “Although some had ridden before, there were those who had not done so for many years while, for others, it was a totally new experience. It is wonderful to see people climb nervously into the saddle, then dismount with a real spring in their step and glowing with a great sense of achievement.”
Members of BETA, the Hoof network and representatives from local riding centres – Moorwards Farm, Newham Riding School, Mount Mascal Stables, Trent Park Equestrian, Willowtree Riding Stables and Wimbledon Village Stables – were on hand to offer support and advice to all would-be riders, who were each presented with a special Take up the Reins rosette, goody bag and certificate to mark the occasion.
Take up the Reins will continue its tour with Queenie and her fellow mechanical horse stable mates RoboCob and Trigger over the coming months, stopping off at county shows, holiday parks, sports events, colleges, universities and shopping malls.