Inside the Queen’s love for horses, from riding without a helmet to fortune racing victories

Although the Queen is known for her royal etiquette, stunning jewelry and lavish palaces, a far cry from the glitz and glamor of royal life, Her Majesty is perhaps most at ease when out riding her horses.

The 95-year-old, who was reportedly forced to stop riding in 2021, is hugely passionate about animals and is often seen on occasions such as Royal Ascot and the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

And as other family members like Princess Anne, Zara Tindall and Lady Louise Windsor have all shown a similar interest in equines, it’s clearly something that runs in the family.

With all eyes on the Grand National today, the team of UK racecourses dug into the Queen’s love for animals.

The Queen has had an interest in horses since she was young

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So here’s everything you need to know about Her Majesty’s Special Interest…

She’s famous for not wearing a helmet

Although reports suggest the Queen is no longer able to ride a horse, the monarch has previously raised concerns over her apparent refusal to wear a helmet.

According to The telegraphcoach Ian Balding expressed his concern and once said to him, “I really think it’s ridiculous that you, more than anyone else, aren’t wearing a crash helmet.”

However, she reportedly replied, “I’ve never done it – and you don’t have to have your hair done like I do.”

Instead of wearing a helmet, the queen likes to opt for sumptuous Hermès scarves.

She has several racehorses

Having received her first Shetland pony, Peggy, when she was young, Her Majesty has owned various horses over the years.

Indeed, on the death of her father in 1952, she inherited her breeding and her breed.

The Queen loves to wear scarves when she goes out with her horses
The Queen loves to wear scarves when she goes out with her horses

It’s unclear exactly how many horses she’s owned over time, but in June 2020, she revealed some of her favorite horses for a special edition of Horse & Hound magazine.

She explained that one of her favorite horses was called Burmese, who had been her allotted horse at Trooping the Color celebrations until 1987.

She knows a thing or two about running

As an avid rider herself, the Queen clearly knows what a good racehorse looks like.

Thanks to his passion, in 2013, the horses belonging to the monarch had won more than 1600 races.

In fact, she has had winners in every British classic except the Grand National.

Her Majesty’s horses have won thousands of races

Although the Grand National is a major event in the sporting calendar, the equine enthusiast would prefer the Royal Ascot where her horses have won 71 times.

With an incredible amount of wins under her belt, she earned £7.6million in winnings alone.

Speaking of the Queen’s skill, Queen’s racing director John Warren told Horse & Hound: “To cope with constant challenges and disappointments, as all equestrians know, the greatest asset you you need with horses is patience – which thankfully the Queen has in spades.

She has a close friendship with ‘The Horse Whisperer’

Monty Roberts, or The Horse Whisperer as he is also known, has helped train Her Majesty’s Horses since 1989.

Prince Andrew pictured with his parents, Queen Elizabeth, and the late Prince Philip
The Queen is not the only royal with an interest in animals

Known for her gentle ways of connecting with animals, Penny Junor, in her 2005 book ‘The Firm’, wrote that the Queen and the late Queen Mother were deeply moved by his work after he showed them his technique .

She said: “The Queen was deeply affected by what she had seen and had many questions about why the horses behaved the way they did.”

Meanwhile, the Queen Mother reportedly found herself with “tears streaming down her face”.

As a thank you for his work, the Queen made him an honorary Member of the Royal Victorian Order.

But away from work, the two share a close bond and she even named one of her beloved corgis after him.

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Clyde P. Johnson