The Prince, who is a cousin of The Queen, represented Princess Michael who is Patron of the charity, for the culmination of an exciting year of events to mark the organisation’s sixtieth anniversary.
The Mayor of Kingston, who has chosen Horse Rangers as one of his charities, was also in attendance along with the Deputy Mayor of Richmond.
The busy year included a charity cycle race, a new choreographed Musical Ride, invitation to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party, winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, a Dinner at Hampton Court Palace and appearing in The Lord Mayor’s Show.
Rounding up the year’s tribute to the man who founded the charity, Raymond Gordon ofShepperton, the Director of Horse Rangers, Col. Geoffrey Godbold OBE, said “This has been a wonderful celebration of great achievement by all our members, staff and volunteers over these six decades. We thank all those who have sponsored and supported us to create this unique children’s service in the area”
Horse Rangers operates like the Scouts or Guides but with horses and boasts seven squadrons, two of which are dedicated to the Special Needs Section and operate under the guidelines of the Riding for the Disabled Association. Altogetherit offers400 children the opportunity to learn horse management.
Horse Rangers trustee chairman, Richard Bevan, said “Having Prince Michael with us for the Carol Service was a perfect end to our special year. We now look forward to the coming years as we grow our links in the community”.
Following the Service a final 60th birthday party was held in the Garden Room of the Palace for a hundred guests
From its humble beginnings, back in 1954, Horse Rangersis now a very modern, forward-looking charity. It has its own YouTube channel, a Facebook page, a website and is on Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.Open throughout the year, the young members have access to thirty horses and ponies and are supported by a crucial volunteer force of 200including officers and instructors who are all unpaid– many of whom were Horse Rangers themselves.The charity receives no government funding but relies on sponsorship, donations and fundraising activities.