On the Queen’s fourth birthday, her father King George VI gave her a delightful shaggy Shetland pony called Penny. From that day on the Queen’s passion for horses would give her immense enjoyment all through her life. She is often seen in the saddle at the astounding age of 92 riding through Windsor park, showing steely determination that age is not a barrier when it comes to riding horses.
The Queen’s affinity with the equestrian world extends into her love for horse racing. She was introduced to the sport by her mother who was also an enthusiastic follower. The Queen owns a large number of thoroughbred horses that she has bred from racing stock from her late father. During the fifties and sixties, she raced her own bred horses as well as ones bred by the National Stud. In her coronation year, 1953, her horse Aureole was tipped to win the
Over the last thirty years, it is believed the Queen’s horses have won nearly £7 million in prize money! She does not gamble but takes great interest and pride in successful breeding and training. She is widely respected for her knowledge of the equestrian world, particularly in the horse racing industry. Despite her hectic working schedule as head of state, she will always ensure that she makes time to enjoy her racing passion. She is often seen at various key racing events throughout the country. Whether this is in an official or private capacity, she delights in watching her horses running.
The Queen will always make time to visit the Royal Stud at Sandringham. She shows great compassion and interest in her horses from their birth and to retirement. Every horse that has finished their racing career remains in her care enjoying their last years at the stud.
Horse racing is not only a royal passion but a national one too. It is an exhilarating sport with something for everyone. If you have never attended the races before, then make sure you make this a date in your social calendar. Whether it’s the thrill of watching fast horses, dressing up and enjoying the hospitality or simply placing a bet on a horse with the chance of winning a few pounds, it will make you realise why our Queen loves this sport so much.
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