Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sadly died on Thursday at the age of 96.
The Royal Family announced that the Queen had passed away at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, having explained earlier in the day that there were concerns for her health prompting close family members to travel to Scotland.
The Queen’s passing has moved millions of people around the world.
The Queen’s love for horse racing
Not only was Her Majesty the longest-reigning monarch in British history, but her 70 years on the throne also sees her rank second only to Louis XIV of France in terms of global longevity.
Amongst the Queen’s many passions was an unabashed love for horses.
Not only was Her Majesty a very capable rider herself, but she also took a very keen interest in the owning and breeding of race horses like many of her ancestors before her.
In fact, you needn’t look any further for evidence of the late Queen’s love for all things equestrian than her holiday home, Sandringham, where you can see a huge statue of her racehorse Estimate.
The Queen wins at 2013 Royal Ascot
Of all the horses that Her Majesty owned across her 70-year reign, perhaps none have had a bigger impact than that of Estimate who made history at Royal Ascot in 2013.
That’s because the Irish-bred, British-trained thoroughbred became the first horse owned by a reigning British monarch to win the Gold Cup in its 207-year history
And in what remains truly heartwarming footage to this day, the Queen’s reaction to Estimate coming home to take the victory was captured by broadcast cameras for the world to see.
With Queen Elizabeth II so often required to cut an unflappable and stoic public figure, little glimpses into her dearest held emotions and passions could always be treasured by her subjects.
As such, the giddy excitement that exuded her as Estimate won one of British racing’s most prestigious prizes was truly fantastic to see, so be sure to check out the video for yourself below:
Video: The Queen’s heartwarming reaction to her horse winning the Gold Cup
You can see just how much it meant to her.
A passion for the sport
Royal Ascot proved to be one of Her Majesty’s favourite social occasions, enjoying a total of 24 victories and arriving from Windsor Castle to great fanfare each year.
The Queen had inherited the Royal Stud, which is a racehorse breeding centre at Sandringham, from her father, King George VI.
According to the BBC, Clare Balding – whose grandfather, father and brother have all trained horses for Her Majesty – said of the Queen: “She recognised her horses by sight, was fascinated by their mental and physical development and always talked in detail to the groom who looks after each one.
“One tiny example of the attention to detail was the Queen never wore perfume when she visited the yard to see her horses as it can excite testosterone-fuelled young colts.
“The Queen was a keen follower of the horse-whisperer Monty Roberts and adopted many of his techniques on her foals and yearlings – for instance, leading them over a blue plastic sheet so they are not afraid of walking through water.
“The result was that they were more responsive and better behaved when they arrived at their various racing yards.”
Sport touches each and every one of us in its own unique way and it couldn’t be clearer than from the lovely footage at the 2013 Gold Cup that horse racing meant so, so much to the late Queen Elizabeth II.