It’s no secret that there’s an age old connection between the United Kingdom’s Royal Family and the equestrian world, however some may be surprised to learn that the Queen herself, who celebrated her 92nd birthday in April this year, is still a passionate rider. She was last sighted in the saddle on the week following her birthday, as the Duchess of Cambridge was preparing to welcome her third child into the family. The Queen was pictured with her head groom, Terry Pendry, riding around the grounds at Windsor, sporting a silk headscarf (and rather controversially, no helmet!). Try as I might, I failed to squeeze a decent “Evel Queenievel” pun out of this one, so you’re being spared on this occasion.
Interestingly, The Queen spent her birthday this year at the Royal Albert Hall in London, living it up with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Shaggy, Craig David and Sir Tom Jones, at her birthday concert. It seems that even when she’s not on four legs, this regal renegade is determined to defy expectation and is unquestionably showing no signs of slowing down.
Previously to this occasion, the last time The Queen was papped whilst enjoying a leisurely Sunday morning ride was back in November 2017. This time she was spotted cantering her black fell pony (an incredibly impressive feat at 91!), again accompanied by Pendry. Perhaps coincidence, but this time she happened to choose to go riding the day before her 70 year anniversary to Prince Philip. A royal baby and a royal anniversary are surely busy and stressful time for the monarch, so perhaps she chooses riding as a reliable stress reliever in circumstances of great importance and undoubtedly, a lot of work!
Horses have been an important part of the Queen’s life since before the majority of readers of this post were born. She received her first riding lesson at just 3 years old and promptly went on to be given her first pony, a Shetland mare named Peggy, by her grandfather King George V on her fourth birthday. She also extends her hand to breeding, and can boast an impressive résumé of over 1,600 wins for her thoroughbred race horses. Famously, she is still yet to have a winner of The Derby at Epsom, but at the rate that she’s going, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before she can add this final jewel to her crown.
If you’re a busy London rider that needs to recharge their batteries, or a keen royalist that’s always wanted to ride in the shadow of Windsor Castle, why not look at one of our Windsor and Ascot Holidays.