The queen’s sporting fascination was racing: ‘I like horses’

It was a traditional and comforting sight on the British sporting calendar, Queen Elizabeth II smiling and waving from inside of a horse-drawn carriage primary other customers of the royal spouse and children in a procession together the racetrack at Royal Ascot.

The monarch would then commit the day observing the races from the Royal Enclosure, cheering on her horses — earn or drop.

And she received a good deal.

Horse racing was the massive sporting fascination of the queen, who died on Thursday at the age of 96. She first rode a horse at the age of 3 — and was right away besotted with them — and would inherit the breeding and racing inventory of her father, King George VI, when she acceded to the throne in 1952.

She turned a single of the major faces of British and world-wide horse racing.

The queen was also existing at some of the most well known situations in British sporting heritage.

She handed the Jules Rimet Trophy to England captain Bobby Moore when the countrywide soccer workforce won the men’s Globe Cup by beating West Germany at Wembley Stadium in 1966.

She was in the Royal Box on Centre Courtroom at Wimbledon when British player Virginia Wade received the women’s singles title in 1977, the championship’s centenary year.

And, additional just lately, she experienced a cameo in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, filming a comedy sketch with James Bond actor Daniel Craig where the queen — properly, a stunt double, in any case — jumped out of a helicopter and parachuted into the Olympic Stadium. She permitted Danny Boyle, who directed the ceremony, and his crew accessibility to her quarters at Buckingham Palace for a one-day shoot a couple of months earlier.

Horse racing was her huge love, nevertheless, and she was normally noticed going to The Royal Stud at her estate at Sandringham, patting her horses tenderly.

“My philosophy about racing is simple,” she stated in a BBC documentary, The Queen’s Racehorses: A Own View. “I take pleasure in breeding a horse that is more quickly than other people’s.

“And to me, that is a gamble from a extended way back again. I get pleasure from heading racing but I suppose, generally, I really like horses, and the thoroughbred epitomizes a definitely good horse to me.”

The queen had approaching 2,000 winners as a racehorse owner, with her jockeys constantly carrying purple, gold and scarlet — the colors of the storied royal racing silks also used by father and great grandfather, King Edward VII.

Her to start with winner was a horse known as Monaveen, at Fontwell in 1949, and she went on to acquire all of the so-termed “classics” in British horse racing other than for The Derby, yet another event she attended for most of her existence.

1 of the queen’s most well known wins came at Royal Ascot in 2013 when Estimate turned the to start with horse owned by a reigning monarch to get the prestigious Gold Cup. It was her initial gain in an elite race considering the fact that 1989 and she was witnessed clapping enthusiastically as jockey Ryan Moore powered as a result of to end initially by a neck in entrance of 61,000 racegoers.

Michael Stoute, who qualified the queen’s horses, explained profitable races gave her a “special thrill.”

“She really enjoys this recreation,” he mentioned just after Estimate’s victory, “and it is a wonderful recreation for her.”

She was the winner operator in British flat racing on two occasions, in 1954 and ’57.

The queen even attended America’s biggest horse race, the Kentucky Derby, in 2007 while viewing the coronary heart of U.S. racing in Kentucky bluegrass nation.

Following the announcement of the queen’s loss of life, the British Horseracing Authority said racing in Britain for the rest of Thursday and Friday would be suspended “as we start out to grieve Her Majesty’s passing and remember her amazing lifestyle and contribution to our activity and our country.”


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