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Second royal visit for National Stud

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Princess
Anne pats
Florida
Pearl at
the
National
Stud over
the
weekend

Princess Anne pats Florida Pearl at the National Stud over the weekend

Princess Anne pats Florida Pearl at the National Stud over the weekend

The National Stud in Co Kildare welcomed its second British royal visitor in a mere 10 months when Princess Anne paid a long-awaited trip to the thoroughbred industry's headquarters at the weekend.

The stud was also a personal highlight of Queen Elizabeth's historic visit last year, given her keen interest in horse racing.

"We take it as an endorsement. The reports were obviously positive to get a second visit from a member of the royal family," said John Osborne, head of the National Stud.

Princess Anne had been due to attend a North-South meeting of the Riding for the Disabled Associations of Ireland and the UK in Naas in 2010. However, like tens of thousands of air passengers, she was forced to cancel her visit due to the ash cloud crisis.

"We were made aware she was coming over for the Ireland-Scotland rugby match so we re-enacted some of the activities that happened in 2010 for her benefit," said Mr Osbourne.

The princess was joined on her private visit on Saturday by chairperson of the National Stud, Lady Chryss O'Reilly, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, horse trainer Dermot Weld and president of the Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland Elizabeth Gordon.

Princess Anne was accompanied by her husband vice-admiral Timothy Laurence. Afterwards, she attended the Six Nations rugby match and met President Michael D Higgins.

Irish Independent