Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Horse-mad Queen invited into new racing hall of fame

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WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY: Issue date: Sunday May 31, Queen Elizabeth II rides Balmoral Fern, a 14-year-old Fell Pony, in Windsor Home Park over the weekend of May 30 and May 31, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen has been in residence at Windsor Castle during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen still rides ponies, even in her 90s (Picture: Getty)

The Queen has been inducted into the flat racing hall of fame in honour of her lifelong dedication to the sport.

Her love affair with horses began when she was given a Shetland pony aged four.

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She went on to become a successful owner and breeder, winning more than 1,800 races since 1949 in her famous purple, gold braid and scarlet colours.

It is believed the Queen, 95, still likes to ride, but now opts for ponies rather than horses, as she is in her 90s after all.

She is often seen heading out on horseback and was last seen roaming the grounds of Windsor Castle last December – at the tender age of 94.

From her coronation in 1952 up until 1986, the Queen joined the cavalry at the Trooping the Colour parade. She has opted to take a carriage ever since.

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Her majesty’s racing manager John Warren said she will have ‘a lot of inner pride’ at the new honour.

He added: ‘Her love of horses and their welfare comes with a deep understanding of what is required to breed, rear, train and ride a thoroughbred.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 16: The Queen At Trooping The Colour Riding Her Horse Burmese Which Was A Gift From The Canadian Mounted Police (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The Queen on horseback during Trooping The Colour (Picture: Getty)

‘Her Majesty’s fascination is unwavering and her pleasure derives from all of her horses – always accepting the outcome of their ability so gracefully.’

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The Queen has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the bloodlines of the horses she breeds at The Royal Stud in Sandringham.

This season, she has recorded more winners than she did in 1957 when she was British flat racing’s Champion Owner.

She has bred and owned the winner of nearly every British Classic – 2000 Guineas, 1000 Guineas, The Oaks and the St Leger.

All except The Derby, but she is hoping for a win at Epsom to mark her Platinum Jubilee next year.

April 1940: Princess Elizabeth out riding at the Royal Lodge, Windsor. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)
Back in 1940, when the Queen was known as Princess Elizabeth (Picture: Getty)

Sir Michael Stoute, who has trained more than 100 winners for the Queen, said: ‘Her Majesty will be thrilled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

‘She richly deserves it because her contribution has been enormous. She loves it so much.

‘I’ve found that training for The Queen comes with no pressure. Because of her understanding, her deep knowledge and her thirst for more.

‘She’s always thinking ahead – what I’m going to do with this animal? Am I going to breed it? Who should I breed it to? Temperament, speed, stamina.

‘She’s fascinated with the whole idea and we must remember, it’s a very long time that she’s been doing it.’

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