FATHER Christmas joined Princess Anne to make the day of a group of disabled children and young people.

The Princess Royal joined young disabled horseriders, most of whom attend John Watson Special School in Wheatley, for their riding class at Franklin’s Farm, Shabbington.

Carol Quartermaine, mum to 10-year-old John Watson pupil Estelle, who has chromosome deletion which causes learning delay, said: “It’s quite emotional watching her meeting the princess because it’s such a big thing.

“It’s so lovely that she came here to a small, unassuming riding school.”

Anna Zaloga, 23, from Thame, who has cerebral palsy, was chosen to present a posy to Princess Anne.

She said: “It was wonderful meeting the princess. I am very pleased and she’s a very kind lady.

“She loves horses and she asked me how long I have been riding.”

Judith Stickings, nine, from Risinghurst, gave the princess a card her friend Estelle had made.

Her mother, Gillian Stickings, said: “She’s absolutely obsessed with horses and riding. At first she was more excited about Santa but once she understood who the Princess Royal was, she was very excited and kept asking when she would arrive.”

Each week 13 children and young people attend the Shabbington Riding for the Disabled Association Group, three coming independently and 10 from John Watson.

Group chairman and instructor Lindsey Kennedy said: “It’s been lovely for the children to have the princess come to visit them. For the parents as well it makes them aware their children are special.”