Duchess praises Deeside charity

The Duchess of Rothesay cut a commemorative cake during her visit to Horseback UK
The Duchess of Rothesay cut a commemorative cake during her visit to Horseback UK

The Duchess of Rothesay has praised the work of the Horseback UK centre in Deeside.

The charity, near Aboyne, helps injured soldiers and veterans through equine therapy.

The Duchess toured the centre during her first visit

The Duchess toured the centre during her first visit

And the Duchess, on her first visit on Tuesday to mark its 10th anniversary, promised she would return.

Founded in 2009, HorseBack UK delivers mental and physical rehabilitation, predominantly to military personnel, through horsemanship and outdoor activities.

The charity uses specially-trained horses in therapeutic work, teaches leadership skills an builds self-esteem.

During her tour of the Deeside centre, the Duchess met veterans and schoolchildren who are currently being supported by the organisation.

She also chatted to staff and viewed some of the animals.

The Duchess told the gathering at the conclusion of her visit: “I’ve heard so much about Horseback UK from various people and organisations, some of which I’ve worked with in the south.

“I’m so impressed by everything you do here, getting everybody working together as a team and you can get no better team than people working together with horses.

“I hope a lot more people will benefit from this wonderful charity.”

Founder Jock Hutchison, an ex-Marine, said it was important to the charity that it was able to mix the veteran community with youngsters and taking the expertise to help teach young people about leadership and team.

He added: “This place is all about teamwork. We could not do what we do without our mentors.

“This is our 10-year anniversary and we have come a long way, but it’s all down to teamwork.

“Over the next 10 years we hope to increase our exposure. We want to help more people who have gone through injury to take a role in influencing other people’s lives positively.”