FORMER royal Olympic rider Princess Anne rolled back the years yesterday at the Blenheim horse trials.

The gold and double silver European Championship medallist who was the first royal to compete in the Olympics, in 1976 – had to jump a few fences of her own at Blenheim Palace – but this time... on foot.

And she took it all in her stride as she elegantly cleared guide ropes between eventing courses with trial organisers.

Some 180 young horse riders took part in the Pony Club and Riding Club Eventer Challenges at the second day of the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in Woodstock.

The Princess Royal attended as president of World Horse Welfare, the chosen charity for the trials this year.

World Horse Welfare's director of fundraising, John Blake, said: “The princess is just tremendous. After staying with us for two hours with 100 guests, she went and met volunteers and then went to our fence.

“She really knows her stuff inside out.”

Some 60,000 spectators are expected to turn out for the horse trials, which carry on into tomorrow.

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