The British Horse Society (BHS) welcomed its Vice-Patron, HRH The Princess Royal and President, Martin Clunes, to London-based Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre last week (8 February) to see how it is benefiting young people in the local area. The visit marks 35 years of the BHS Approved Centre.

Under the guidance of Founder Sister Mary Joy, Wormwood Scrubs has helped to improve the lives of hundreds of children by connecting them with horses. This includes enrolling participants in the BHS’s Changing Lives through Horses (CLTH) initiative, an alternative education programme which aims to reconnect disadvantaged and disengaged young people back into communities through horses.

To showcase the work that Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre do to increase the confidence and practical skills of young people, as well as the support the BHS have contributed, HRH The Princess Royal observed demonstrations from some of the young people who take part in the CLTH initiative.

Credit: Nico Morgan

This comprised of riding activities and displays, showcasing the participant’s passion for equestrianism, from all backgrounds and levels of ability. HRH The Princess Royal also met with key staff at the centre, including their patron and BHS President, Martin Clunes, and presented them with a plaque to celebrate their achievements.

“It was a privilege and an honour for us to be able to host our Vice-Patron HRH The Princess Royal at Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, a riding school she has supported over the years, to celebrate their 35th anniversary,” said James Hick, Chief Executive Officer at the BHS.

“The BHS is a champion for all riding schools, especially those that are in urban areas and are passionate about providing young people, who may not normally have the opportunity, with the chance to interact with horses. We know the value this can provide and want to share more widely the positive impact that the horse human bond can have on a young person’s life.

Credit: Nico Morgan

“All our riding schools play a critical role, helping to make sure that people from all communities have access to education, horse care and welfare, practical riding tuition and most importantly, an inclusive and welcoming environment.”

Find out more about Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre at

Credit: Nico Morgan

Lead image credit: Nico Morgan

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