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All the Queen's Horses!

Queen Elizabeth is as passionate as ever about her racehorses, despite being 91 years old. She is visibly excited when they win and always worries if they're injured. Her lifelong love for horses should come as no surprise, as she has been riding since she was just three years old, having been given her first pony, Peggy, on her fourth birthday.

She still enjoys riding around Windsor Castle on her favourite Fell pony, Carltonlima Emma and was spotted days before her 91st birthday, accompanied by head groom Terry Pendry, on horseback near the Thames.

 

Royal stud

Every July, the Queen goes to the Royal Stud at Sandringham to see all her mares with their new foals. She breeds British Shetland ponies, Fell ponies and Highlands, many of which have enjoyed success in the show ring - she opened a Highland pony stud at Balmoral in 2007 to preserve the breed.

One of her personal favourite rides, Burmese was given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969, when they performed at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The Queen rode Burmese at the Trooping the Colour ceremony for 18 years!


 

Royal racing colours

When the young Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, she inherited the royal racing colours - a purple and scarlet jacket with gold braid and a black cap. Her first success came a few months later with Choir Boy's win at the Wilburton Handicap in May 1952 at Newmarket.

She has owned many thoroughbred racehorses and is the only monarch to have been named British Flat Racing Champion Owner twice, in 1954 and 1957. Dunfermline won two classics, the St Leger Stakes and the Epsom Oaks, during the Queen's Silver Jubilee year in 1977.

 

Training

The Queen's racing managers, Mr Warren and his father-in-law, the late Henry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon who died in 2001, have guided her through the ownership of many racehorses over the years, which are foaled at the Royal Stud in Sandringham and trained as yearlings at Polhampton Stud in Hampshire. They begin their racing career under Her Majesty’s trainers and the horses also retire under Her Majesty's care.

 

Successful racehorses

Other notable horses owned by the Queen have included Highclere (1971–1992) - winner of the Prix de Diane at Chantilly and the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. She finished second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, after which she was retired.

Her thoroughbred Pall Mall (1955–1978) won the classic 2000 Guineas in 1958 and was a leading two-year-old of the era, also winning the New Stakes at Royal Ascot and the first two Lockinge Stakes, before being retired to stud.

Ridden by Captain Mark Phillips, the Queen's 17.1-hands grey Columbus famously won Badminton in 1974. He may have gone on to be world champion but sadly, Columbus was unable to complete the final phase at Burghley due to injury.

When one of her stable's young racehorses, two-year-old Full Toss, was injured at Newbury, Her Majesty was distraught to learn vets were considering euthanising him due to the injury's severity and the risks of surgery. She wouldn't hear of it and told her racing and bloodstock adviser, John Warren, the horse must be given his chance at life. Thanks to her determination, Full Toss had the surgery and it was a success.

Queen Elizabeth has had 22 winners at Ascot including her most recent, Estimate - the royal family's Ascot connection goes back to 1711, when Queen Anne founded the course.

Her racehorses have won more than 1,600 races!

 

Horse racing events

There have been a number of horse races named after the Queen including the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup, Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. She also hosts the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Park in Buckinghamshire - a statue of Elizabeth II on horseback was unveiled in her honour at Windsor's Great Park in 2003.

Her Majesty's horses enjoy the best of everything at the royal stables. For stable matting and horsebox safety products fit for all the queen’s horses, give Coruba a call!



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