The 2017 Kentucky Derby is just around the corner, and this means that Queen Elizabeth’s thoroughbred legacy might make an appearance at major horse races worldwide including the Royal Ascot in June.
While Queen Elizabeth will likely attend the 2017 Royal Ascot with or without her horses, it might be a welcome change of pace for the royal family.
After all, Queen Elizabeth and the royal family have been in a time of mourning over the winter with the death of her majesty’s cousin and best friend, Margaret Rhodes in late November, 2016, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
After recovering from a “heavy cold” around Christmas, Queen Elizabeth lost another member of her royal family: Lord Snowdon. Although he died in January, Queen Elizabeth has been in the headlines for remembering her sister’s husband, Lord Snowdon, on April 7.
According to People, this included a memorial service for Lord Snowdon at St. Margaret’s Church at Westminster Abbey that was attended by Queen Elizabeth and over 600 people. The service for Lord Snowdon was led by the very reverend Dr. John Hall, the Dean of Westminster. Lord Snowdon was the husband of Princess Margaret.
Outside of the serious nature of losing a family member, the staff associated with Queen Elizabeth are preparing to meet her fans for a museum tour at Buckingham Palace called “Royal Gifts.” This tour will display Queen Elizabeth’s stash of extravagant gifts from foreign dignitaries from around the world, according to Conde Nast Traveler.
Queen Elizabeth is well-known for doing other queenly things, such as never traveling without cake, according to AOL. Queen Elizabeth also has a lot of eccentric hobbies such as raising pigeons, but one hobby that puts her in a league of her own is her involvement with horses.
In addition to frequently noted headlines that Queen Elizabeth is still riding horses at 90-years-old, according to Express, she also has a long history with breeding thoroughbred racehorses and is considered a bloodlines expert.
In fact, June 20-24 is the 2017 Royal Ascot, and not only will Queen Elizabeth likely attend — she might have some horses in the race as well, as a few are descendants of horses that she has bred.
This love of horses was inherited from Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, and, according to Horse and Hound, former Royal Stud manager Sir Michael Oswald was quoted stating the following about her majesty’s extreme horse breeding skills.
“She has had a terrific involvement in racing all her life, and really knows and understands horses. And she has a remarkable memory for pedigrees.”
CNN quoted Queen Elizabeth’s bloodstock and racing advisor, John Warren, talking about her majesty’s first interaction with a thoroughbred race horse and stated the following.
“It’s 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. When she touched the skin of the thoroughbred she didn’t want to wash her hands for the rest of the day, so she got really addicted to it very young and nothing has diminished or changed over all these years.”
If one of Queen Elizabeth’s horses wins a major race in 2017, it will not be a surprise. In the past, horses that Queen Elizabeth owned have won many major Grade 1 thoroughbred horse races, but one horse led her to Louisville, Kentucky, several times over.
When most Queen Elizabeth fans recall her visits to Kentucky, they remember that, in 2007, Queen Elizabeth attended the Kentucky Derby in Louisville and the winner of the race was Street Sense.
While some outsiders may have assumed that this was Queen Elizabeth’s first and only visit associated with Kentucky and their famous thoroughbred horse breeding, it was not.
Queen Elizabeth is known throughout the world as a top thoroughbred horse breeder, and her 1984 trip to Kentucky horse farms was chronicled by the New York Times. Even in the 1980s, it was noted that Queen Elizabeth was a trusted horse breeder and a bloodlines expert.
About the activities Queen Elizabeth expected, a spokesperson for the queen said she would stay in a mansion at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. The spokesperson also clearly stated “the Queen would go out only by day and attend none of the lavish parties common among Lexington horse farmers.”
After her 1984 visit, Queen Elizabeth also visited the Farish family at Lane’s End Farm in 1986 and 1989. According to UPI, each were a “working holiday” for Queen Elizabeth, and, as it appears, part of her visits to Kentucky in the 1980s might have been related to her love of her famous thoroughbred mare being boarded at Lane’s End Farm: Highclere.
According to Pedigree Query, Highclere died in 1992. It was also around that time that Queen Elizabeth’s appearances in Kentucky seemed to cease until she reappeared at the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Among Highclere’s honors include winning first place at two Grade 1 thoroughbred horse races in 1974: The 1000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse in England and the Prix de Diane Longchamp in France.
Famous thoroughbreds that are descendants of Queen Elizabeth’s horse Highclere include Burghclere, and this dam was the grandmother of the world-famous horse, Deep Impact.
In fact, on the 2017 Kentucky Derby website, their introduction to the thoroughbreds running the race on May 6 from Japan include descendants of Deep Impact. In 2016, Deep Impact was noted as Japan’s “top sire” because his descendants keep on winning triple crowns in horse racing in Japan, according to The Australian.
In other words, if living to be over 90-years-old has proven one thing about Queen Elizabeth, it is that she knows winners when she sees them — and the world may be benefitting from the breeding she set in motion for decades to come.
It is also a possibility that Queen Elizabeth will be making an appearance at several major horse races this year. According to British Horse Racing, other Grade 1 thoroughbred horse races in the U.K. in 2017 that Queen Elizabeth might be interested in attending include the Royal Ascot on June 20-24; the St. Legers Festival on September 13-16; and the Gold Cup Festival on December 1-2.
[Feature Image by Darren Staples, WPA Pool/Getty Images]