Within minutes of the royal helicopter touching down on fields adjacent to the Havard Riding Stables in Dinas Cross, the Princess Royal - Princess Anne - proved that horses are undoubtedly her passion.

Tivyside Advertiser: The Princess Royal arriving at Havard StablesThe Princess Royal arriving at Havard Stables (Image: Western Telegraph)

For over 90 minutes she questioned, commented, observed and laughed as riders, trainers, parents and guests joined Her Majesty for a display by the North Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire Riding for the Disabled Group of which she is patron.

And as one observer commented, “The smile that those riders are giving out says it all.”

Dressed in a grey tweed suit with a fantail pleat at the back of her skirt, a blue and fawn woollen scarf and dark brown calf-length boots, the Princess Royal arrived in an Audi accompanied by her lady-in-waiting, The Honourable Dame Shan Legge-Bourke.

Tivyside Advertiser: The Honorable Dame Shan Legge-BourkeThe Honorable Dame Shan Legge-Bourke (Image: Western Telegraph)

After meeting The Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, the Princess spent her entire visit with Rhys and Hannah Havard Mcloughlin who introduced her to some of the key figures of the local RDA branch.

Tivyside Advertiser: The Princess Royal and the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara EdwardsThe Princess Royal and the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards (Image: Western Telegraph)

These included Ninou and Terence Humfrey of the Maesyfelin Riding School, Bridell.

Along with Terence's late mother Coralie, the Humfrey family has hosted the RDA for over 50 years before handing it over to the Havard Stables earlier this year.

“Seeing the way in which the riders and also their parents respond to the RDA is incredible,” commented Ninou.

“It’s wonderful that they can feel included in a past-time that they perhaps wouldn’t otherwise find accessible and the fulfilment this gives them as well as those of us who coach them, is fantastic.”

Tivyside Advertiser: Ninou and Terence HumfreyNinou and Terence Humfrey (Image: Western Telegraph)

The Princess also met Jo Pringle, who is the founder member of the South Wales Riding for the Disabled Association.

Tivyside Advertiser: The Princess meets south Wales RSA founder, Jo PringleThe Princess meets south Wales RSA founder, Jo Pringle (Image: Western Telegraph)

Hannah Havard Mcloughlin will now be coaching a total of 28 disabled riders on a weekly basis.

Assisting her will be RDA volunteer Garethe El Tawab who has known Princess Anne for over 40 years.

“I used to see her throughout the ‘70s when we used to enter three-day eventing competitions all over the UK,” she said.

“Although I don’t think we ever competed against each other – she was an Olympian, after all, who was much senior to me – she was always around.

“And I’ll never forget going hunting in Derbyshire when it began pouring with rain and Princess Anne and her former fiancée, Captain Mark Phillips, went to shelter behind a Range Rover.

“But Mark Phillips was very unlucky that day when a horse kicked him in the face which meant he had to be taken to hospital.

“So yes, I’ve known Princess Anne for many years so it’s wonderful to see her here at the Havard Stables, because I know just how much the RDA is giving to so many people.”

Joining in with the Royal celebration was little Hetti Havard Mcloughlin, Hannah and Rhys’s eldest daughter who is also a successful rider.

Tivyside Advertiser: Hetti Havard MacloughlinHetti Havard Macloughlin (Image: Western Telegraph)

“When I found out that the Princess was coming to our house it was like a dream,” she said. “I just wish I could have had a riding lesson with her.”

She was joined by her fellow pupils at Years 5 and 6 of Ysgol Bro Ingli.

Another guest was Huw Murphy, owner of the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm where the Household Cavalry drumhorse, Apollo was bred.

Apollo was sold to the Household Cavalry in December 2019 since when he has served at the Royal Windsor for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the trooping the colour ceremony and the Queen’s state funeral last month.

The Princess Royal was accompanied throughout the morning by Rhys and Hannah.

Tivyside Advertiser: Rhys and Hannah with Princess AnneRhys and Hannah with Princess Anne (Image: Western Telegraph)

“Princess Anne was an absolute delight to meet,” said Rhys. “This wasn’t just a visit from someone who had to be here because she was told to, but because she clearly wanted to be.”

Just before the Princess Royal climbed back into her Audi to drive back to her awaiting helicopter, she turned round to the arena behind her where the disabled riders still sat patiently on their ponies and gave them one enormous wave.

And it was this which encapsulated Her Royal Highness’s all-embracing personality so well.  This lady certainoy cares about horses as well as those that ride them.

Tivyside Advertiser: Some of the RDA riders who rode for the PrincessSome of the RDA riders who rode for the Princess (Image: Western Telegraph)