Otley to get Royal visit

A NEW state-of-the-art equestrian centre which it is hoped will bring an Olympic boost to Suffolk is set to receive the Royal seal of approval.It was announced today that the Princess Royal will officially open the £500,000 indoor and outdoor centre at Otley College during a visit on Friday April 7.

A NEW state-of-the-art equestrian centre which it is hoped will bring an Olympic boost to Suffolk is set to receive the Royal seal of approval.

It was announced today that the Princess Royal will officially open the £500,000 indoor and outdoor centre at Otley College during a visit on Friday April 7.

Princess Anne will tour the new facility with the college's chairman of governors, John Clements, principal Philip Winfield and head of horse and sports, Alison Barber.

She will also meet staff and students, along with members from the local community, on what will be Otley's first Royal visit for 20 years.

Mrs Barber said: “We are thrilled that Her Royal Highness has accepted our invitation and we are looking forward to welcoming her to the opening of a facility that will be of tremendous value to our students, the college and the local community.

“The new centre has already been put forward as a possible host training camp for visiting nations at the 2012 London Olympics, and with the Princess Royal's link to the Olympics, coupled with her love of horses, we could not have hoped for a more perfect guest.”

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The princess is currently the British Olympic Association President and competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as a member of the British three-day eventing team.

Otley College marketing manager, Sally Hunt, who met the princess at an event in Coddenham in 2004, said the visit was a “massive boost” for the college.

“The centre will be of significant regional importance to the sport industry and this event is a great way to kickstart our ambitious plans to be the number one provider of sport, equine and outdoor education in the region,” she said.

Officials from the college have been in talks with the London Olympics committee about use of the equestrian centre as part of the county's involvement with the event.

It would not host any Olympic events as these will be held in the main arenas in London, but it could used as a training and preparation camp for riders.

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