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Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, had a lifelong love of horses.
The British monarch was an avid rider, recalled Richard Griffin, a royal protection officer who worked with the Queen for 14 years.
“When we went to Balmoral, there were gun dogs,” he told Sky News. “And the ponies would be up there so [that] she could go riding every morning.”
He added, “It was just a complete country life, which she loved.”
Even this year the Queen was spotted riding.
At 96 years of age, she apparently even went on “a gentle ride on her pony at Windsor Castle,” according to People.
“At 96, it’s amazing that the Queen has been on her horse,” a source told that outlet.
The Queen received her first riding lesson at age three and was given her first pony at age four, according to Town and Country.
From early childhood, the Queen was surrounded by relatives who owned, rode and talked about horses, according to Sky News.
The Queen bred horses for more than 60 years, and thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out of the five flat racing classics — the 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas, along with the Oaks and the St. Leger, said Sky News.
A longtime horse owner from North Reading, Mass., Wendy Vaughn, told Fox News Digital on Friday, “Like the Queen, I love horses so much because they accept us for who they are.”
She also said, “They are also very spiritual animals and have a certain healing capability that is unlike any human I’ve ever known.”
“They also give so much of themselves to us, and ask for absolutely nothing in return,” said Vaughn.
Queen Elizabeth II made sporting history when she became the first reigning monarch to win Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup, winning in 2013 with her thoroughbred Estimate, the same outlet noted.
The Queen had more than 20 winners at Royal Ascot.
She also visited Kentucky three times, reported Kentucky news station WKYT.
She was there twice in the 1980s, and then for the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
She also loved the equine field of horse breeding, sending her mares to stud farms around the world, said Sky News.