Her Majesty The Queen

We share the nation's sadness on the passing of our Monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Our sincere condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who have lost the cherished head of their family and a nation that mourns a much-loved monarch who carried out her service with dignity for over 70 years.

During her reign, The Queen was well known for her love of animals and particularly her beloved horses. Her Majesty's love of horses and horse riding was a passion she shared with her mother and is believed to have started with her first riding lesson.

The first photograph of Princess Elizabeth riding a horse, in the grounds of Windsor Castle in 1930. Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

From early childhood, the Queen was surrounded by relatives who owned, rode and talked about horses. In footage shared by the Royal Collection Trust in 2020, a young Elizabeth was seen pulling a horse toy behind her and riding as a teenager.

The Queen went on to breed and race horses for more than 60 years.

The Queen riding on the racecourse before the opening of Royal Ascot in 1960

Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out of the five flat racing classics - the 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger - with only the Derby eluding her.

Her horse Dunfermline, ridden by jockey Willie Carson, gave the Queen her most famous victory, triumphing in the Oaks and St Leger in her Silver Jubilee year in 1977.

In recent years, the Queen made sporting history when she became the first reigning monarch to win Royal Ascot's Gold Cup with her thoroughbred Estimate in 2013. She had more than 20 winners at Royal Ascot - one of the premier events of the racing season.

The Queen pictured riding her pony, Balmoral Fern at Windsor Castle in 2020 
Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

During her life, Her Majesty pursued her keen interest in horse breeding, sending her mares to stud farms around the world.

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