The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: The Royal Horses

Inevitably, it was the Queen Mother, herself an avid racing follower, who first sparked her daughter’s interest in racehorse ownership in 1949, four years before the Coronation.

It was over jumps that her first success came when Monaveen, who was jointly owned with the Queen Mother, and went on to run fifth to Freebooter in the 1950 Grand National, was a winner at Fontwell Park. But jump racing can be a cruel game as well as a fantastic spectacle, so the Queen’s interest waned when Monaveen suffered a fatal injury. But her fascination with racing was not long to remain dormant; it just took a new form in the sleeker, more complex arena of flat racing.

The Flat

More so than jump racing, success on the flat, especially on the owner/breeder basis that the Queen was to adopt, depends hugely on pedigree expertise. The groundwork for success on the racecourse is established in the mating plans you decide on for your broodmare. The Queen is renowned for her depth of knowledge in this field.

Breeders must make close study of the bloodlines of a broodmare and a potential stallion in order to maximise the chances of producing a good horse. It is a fascinating and crucial prelude to the racecourse action, and it is something that has always absorbed the Queen as much as the racing itself.

It was in 1946 that Her Majesty’s enthusiasm for the world of flat racing was first kindled, when her father’s filly Hypericum won the 1,000 Guineas, one of the five ‘Classic’ races for three-year-olds in the British racing calendar.

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