After seeing that the Queen is still riding at the age of 92, I thought I would write about her and her horses this week and once I started researching I found out all sorts of interesting things that I feel like I should share with everyone!
1) Queen Elizabeth II has been riding since she was 4 years old, when her father King George VI gave her a Shetland pony named Peggy.
2) Actually if you think about it the Royals are quite a horsey bunch. The Queen Mother was an avid National Hunt Racing fan, Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Phillips both became top event riders and the Princes William and Harry both play polo.
3) All the horses that you see in the royal parades are kept at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, “one of the finest working stables in existence.” The Queen names each horse that lives there.
4) The Royal Mews is where they keep all the carriages, coaches and cars used by the Queen. It is also where the palace staff and their families live. However you will only find only 2 types of horse there, Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays, the Windsor Greys draw the carriages for the Queen and the royal family and are called Windsor Greys because in Victorian times they were kept at Windsor. The Cleveland Bays are used to pick up high commissioners and ambassadors visiting the Queen.
Picture- Horse and Hound
5) The Queen is famous for always riding without a helmet. Not something I would ever recommend by the way. Apparently the staff at Windsor Castle joke that “the only thing that comes between the Queen and her heir is her Hermes scarf”.
6) The Queen owns many racehorses, having initially inherited the breeding and racing stock from her father King George VI.
Picture credit: ITV
7) As of 2013, horses owned by the Queen have won over 1600 races. She has had winners in all of the British Classics except the Epsom Derby.
8) USA Today reported that the Queen has actually made $9.3 million from her race winnings.
9) Monty Roberts AKA The Horse Whisperer has trained the Queens horses since 1989. He has been honoured by the Queen and is a honorary member of the Royal Victorian Order. They have shared a close friendship since he began training her horses. She even named a Corgi after him.
10) The Queen breeds Throughbreds, fell ponies, Shetland ponies and Highland ponies.
Do you know any other facts about the Queen and her horses I haven’t mentioned? Get in touch if you do!