Camilla horses around with ‘shy Di’ on equestrian centre visit

The Duchess of Cornwall came face to face with a "Shy Di" when she met a horse called Dynamite.

Camilla, 71, fed the horse sugar after hearing how the mare's calm temperament had resulted in her name being changed to the more feminine moniker of Diane.

The duchess, a keen rider who used to hunt regularly, took a great interest in the horses at the Club Ecustre De La Habana Flora y Fauna having left the Prince of Wales for the solo visit during their visit to Havana, Cuba.

Treated to a dressage and show jumping display to violin music played by 16-year-old Olivia Aramas, Camilla declared: "It's wonderful."

Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla took a great interest in the horses (Phil Noble/PA)

She appeared delighted and clapped when one of the horses took a bow with one front leg bent.

When she was told a few horses had been imported from England for breeding, she told the vice president of business development Loreta Garcia Sardina and the director of the equestrian centre Noel Ceballo Suarez: "Let me know if I can help in any way."

After asking lots of questions she was then introduced to Diane and told how equine therapy had helped children with autism, MS sufferers and even recovering drug addicts.

"Autistic children and horses seem to work very well together," she said. "Horses aren't aggressive animals."

She expressed surprise when she was told that the eight-year-old girl riding Diane had not been able to walk before she underwent equine therapy at the centre.

Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla is presented with a bouquet of flowers during her visit (Phil Noble/PA)

Looking at the child, Shelome Garcia, she said: "Look at her now and all the progress she has made."

She joked: "I'm tempted to have a ride on her myself but I don't think I'm dressed for the occasion."

Following a tour of the stables and a meet-and-greet with the farriers, Camilla was told the horses were fed carrots as rewards while the stallions were fed eggs and honey as a special treat.

"Eggs and honey!" the duchess said, "I've never heard of anything like that before. You learn something new every day."

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