Composer’s wife Lady Lloyd Webber is to succeed the Princess Royal as president of the Pony Club, one of Britain’s – and the world’s – largest youth organisations, now in its 81st year.

As Madeleine Gurdon, Lady Lloyd Webber had a distinguished eventing career, representing Britain at senior level and finishing second at Burghley in 1988. She now has a thoroughbred stud at her husband Andrew’s Sydmonton, Berkshire, home, producing the champion filly Dar Re Mi, and is a leading National Hunt racehorse owner.

However, her most relevant experience for her new position is her successful work with teaching local children to play polo.‘I am honoured and delighted,’ said Lady Lloyd Webber. ‘The Pony Club has been an important part of my life for nearly 40 years, whether participating as a teenager or coaching, and now as a dreaded Pony Club mother! I am looking forward to learning about life in the 21st century Pony Club’.

The Princess Royal will now become Royal Patron of The Pony Club.