Princess Royal opens jockey hydrotherapy pool hours after returning from South Korea

The Princess Royal carried out a series of engagements yesterday, including the opening of a new hydrotherapy pool for injured jockeys, just 24 hours after returning from the other side of the world.

Princess Anne had been in South Korea for the just under two weeks, to support British athletes at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. We reported on her attendance of the opening ceremony here.

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One of the busiest members of the Royal family in 2017, who carried out 540 engagements last year, the 69-year-old Princess shows no sign of slowing down, as she visited Berkshire yesterday to officially open a renovated Oaksey House- a rehabilitation centre run by the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Princess Anne is patron of the club, and – wearing an appropriate horse brooch – was joined by its president, famed rider Sir AP McCoy, as she toured and opened the new facilities which include a hydrotherapy pool to help injured jockeys relax and recover from any injuries; the pool is named after the club’s president, and is located in the new treatment wing.

princess anne with sir ap mccoy hears how former jockeys have been helped by the centre still from ITV report)

However, the pool is not just a standard swimming pool, it also has an underwater treadmill, massage hoses and special technology to monitor performance. The refurbished wing also includes a function room and a gym, which is three times larger than its predecessor. These facilities will also be open to members of the public.

McCoy said: “I am delighted to be here today and that the Injured Jockeys Fund is able to now provide these amazing facilities for jockeys both injured and riding. If I’d had this 20 years ago, I’d probably still be going now!”

The Queen’s daughter also spoke at the opening, praising the ‘phenomenal’ achievements of Oaksey House: “Having just come back from the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and seeing the injuries some other sportspeople such as snowboarders suffer, your brains could be picked and the skills you have could be of such benefit to a range of other sports.

princess anne views the new hydrotherapy centre at oaksey house, a rehab centre for the injured jockeys fund (IJF twitter)

princess anne views the new hydrotherapy centre at oaksey house, a rehab centre for the injured jockeys fund (IJF twitter)

“It seems extraordinary that Oaksey House opened only nine years ago.  The knowledge achieved in that time has been phenomenal.”

The Injured Jockeys Fund helps ‘any rider who holds, or has held, a Professional or Amateur licence issued by the British Horseracing Authority including Apprentice, Conditional and Point-to-Point riders, including any spouse, partner, child or dependant they may have’.

After opening the new centre, Princess Anne travelled to London to attend a reception to mark the establishment of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s new children’s research fund. The Princess is patron of the organisation.

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