CLOSINGS: View Closings

Queen Elizabeth II's undiminished love of horse racing

It's a love that has endured for over 70 years, since Queen Elizabeth II first visited a racing stable.She was...

Posted: Jul. 27, 2018 12:36 PM
Updated: Jul. 27, 2018 12:36 PM

It's a love that has endured for over 70 years, since Queen Elizabeth II first visited a racing stable.

She was 16 and her father, George VI, was casting his eye over two of his prime race horses -- Big Game and Sun Chariot.

"She watched them do some gallops ahead of some big races that were imminent," journalist and author Julian Muscat told CNN Winning Post, "and afterward she went and patted them on the head and loved the feel and the silkiness of their coats.

"The story goes that she didn't wash her hands for the rest of the day."

Her passion remains undiminished. The Queen still rides horses every weekend, according to Muscat, and has made the Royal Ascot meeting -- held annually at Ascot racecourse, 26 miles outside of London -- a fixture of her calendar.

She's attended the event for more than seven decades, both as a spectator and a successful horse trainer. Over the years, she's enjoyed 23 winners at Royal Ascot.

READ: The Queen's unwavering passion for horse breeding at 90

Alongside the Derby, which takes place every year at Epsom on the first Saturday of June, it is one of the immovable events when her diary is being planned 18 months in advance.

What the Queen really enjoys, says Muscat, is speaking to like-minded horse lovers.

"She loves talking to the jockeys who ride her horses because they can give an insight into their character that she can't see for herself," he added.

'An in-built passion'

The Queen's affection for horses has also led to a successful career as a race horse owner.

John Warren, Bloodstock & Racing Advisory her majesty, describes the Queen as having "an in-built passion."

"It started when she was a teenager and she had hairy little ponies -- then her father introduced her to a thoroughbred," Warren explains.

"She got really addicted to it very young and nothing has diminished or changed over all these years."

Her horses enjoyed a record-breaking 2016, bringing in over $700,000. The majority of those winnings were passed onto the horses' trainers.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and features

However, according to Muscat, the Queen cares less about winning than being able to give her horses the chance to be the best they can be.

"She can content herself with the knowledge that she has given it the best chance in life," said Muscat.

As he puts it, "where there is good racing, the Queen's interest will automatically be triggered."

Article Comments

Mason City
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Austin
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 78°
Charles City
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 78°
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 76°
Tracking showers and storms to begin the week.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Tracking Rain Showers and Storms

Image

Blackowiak signs with Augsburg

Image

New Hampton girl's golf invite

Image

Austin Bruins vs. Aberdeen Wings - Gm. 4

Image

New social group for women who like craft beer

Image

New craft beer social group for women

Image

Worth Brewing hosts Bockfest

Image

Earth Day festival in Mason City

Image

High school students host Relay for Life

Image

RPS Powwow

Community Events