No wellies required as sun shines for President on farm visit

President Higgins has visited a farm and equestrian stables on the third day of his State visit to London.

Sheep, lambs, pigs, chickens and cows were all on show for the visit to the farm this morning.

Special wellington boots were not needed as the sun shone.

President Higgins started his tour of the farm viewing two breeds of sheep and their lambs, some of which were only four days old.

Ruth Clements, who is a vet on the farm, held one of the lambs for President and Mrs Higgins.

Sabina Higgins was clearly taken by the visit, saying "oh how lovely" and giving the lamb a hug and nuzzling its face.

They discussed how the lambs are kept in penned enclosures for the first few days before being let roam the fields in Oxfordshire.

President and Mrs Higgins also viewed pigs at the enclosures.

Sabina Higgins spoke about a book she has called 'The Pig' adding "I must send it to you, it's about this wonderful creature.

She spoke about the pigs foraging their food, saying "they remember their ground, rooting it out, it's in their genes".

The President and Mrs Higgins then arrived at the Park House Stables in Newbury, where the Queen keeps fillies with other well-known owners such as former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

The stables are owned and run by Andrew and Anna Lisa Balding. The famous Derby winner from the 1970s, Mill Reef, was trained here among many other champion horses.

After lunch, the President will be taken on a tour of the silks room, the stables and training gallops.

Andrew Balding is a brother of the broadcaster Claire Balding.

The visit continues at an Equestrian Centre in Newbury, before President returns to Windsor for a reception on Northern Ireland and attending an Irish-themed concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London tonight.

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