Duchess Camilla recently met students from the Ebony Horse Club in south London to watch the races at Ascot. The horse riding club was founded in 1969, and aims to use the sport as a way of helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Lambeth, south London, and the Duchess of Cornwall has been its president since 2009.
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Speaking about the club, she said: "It's so exciting. They're really doing such great things." On the day, she also chatted to some of the pupils about their interest in riding. Antwan Cunningham, 13, from Brixton, told her he wanted to become a jockey. "My family were interested in horse riding so I think I am following in their footsteps," he said, to which Camilla replied, "That's fantastic."
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Camilla arranged a VIP tour of Ascot's racecourse for the members of the club who attended, before asking them to help her judge the best dressed horse in a race, and inviting them to join her in presenting prizes to the winning jockey.
Theo Protheroe and Jesse Raven, both 15 from Brixton, then joined Camilla in the Royal Box with Ebony Horse Club's chairman Sue Collins, and the Queen's representative at Ascot, Sir Francis Brooke.
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Camilla met students of Ebony Horse Club at Ascot
The boys recalled their experience. "It gave you a new perspective," said Theo. "Normally you're down at ground level, but you're so high up and you can see everything."
Mikhi Fearon, 18, also from Brixton, spoke of how the Ebony Club had helped him change his life. "I hadn't even heard of Ascot until I came here today," he explained.
Camilla added that she has high hopes for the members of the club. "I hope there are going to be some more budding jockeys in future," she said.
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