The Queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee this year, marking 70 years since she ascended to the throne. Do you know that Queen Elizabeth loves the sport that’s made her a ton of money?
Elizabeth II, a racing fan from childhood
There is a story that once as a child Queen Elizabeth II was asked what she would most like to become. Promptly she answered: “A horse.” The tale may be apocryphal, but there is no doubt that love of the thoroughbred has always been with her.
The Queen today is not only a passionately interested horsewoman but also the industrious and ambitious owner of a considerable racing stable.
- As it turns out, the queen is tremendous at breeding racehorses.
- They’ve won at least 451 times over the years.
- In 2017, her horses earned more than $500,000 in prize money.
- The queen’s horses have four of the five major British races
- She’s made $8 million from the sport she loves best.
In 1948 Elizabeth got her first race horse—the filly Astrakhan, a wedding present from the Aga Khan—and the next year the Princess registered her colors. Under steeplechase rules, she also registered a partnership with her mother, and each owned a half share in the Irish jumper, Monaveen.
One afternoon in April, 1950 Elizabeth was watching Philip play polo in Malta when she got a telegram telling her of her first win under flat-racing rules—Astrakhan had taken the Merry Maidens Stakes at Hurst Park. Elizabeth “smiled very happily,” according to bystanders. In December she got another and sadder cable in Malta: Monaveen had broken a leg and had been shot. The Queen has never owned a jumper since.
Racing is the Queen’s great pastime. She is devoted to the sport and the traditions which govern it in Britain. It is her single interest outside her family and duties, and she approaches it as she does everything else—studiously, persistently and ardently.
Queen Elizabeth still rides from time to time, but the horses she owns have been incredibly successful. Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to have a platinum jubilee.
Inga Kouru. Chief Health Fitness Travel Guide