More than 120 Fell ponies provided The Queen with “one of her best birthday events” in Windsor Park.

Members of the Fell Pony Society travelled from across the country and beyond to form a guard of honour for Her Majesty on 17 July.

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The idea came from society president Mary Longsdon MBE who told a meeting of the society’s council she wanted to take 90 ponies to Windsor to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday.

“A few eyebrows were raised around the table, but the council agreed it was certainly an idea worth progressing,” a spokesman said.

“The result was a unique and fabulous event, with society members invited to attend a private event held at Windsor Park, to pay tribute to their patron by providing a guard of honour; an event described by the Queen’s stud groom, Terry Pendry, as ‘making history’.”

Many more people applied to take part than had been planned but when asked about numbers, The Queen told the society she wanted to see all those who wanted to attend.

Riders, one of whom travelled from Germany, wore red rugby shirts bearing a logo incorporating Windsor Castle and the society’s guard of honour.

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Fell Pony Society chairman Eileen Walker led the 128 ponies to line the route as The Queen drove past in a carriage pulled by four Fell ponies, and followed by those owned by the Royal Family and stabled at Windsor.

The spokesman added: “The Queen was delighted to inspect the large number of ponies and learn that they had travelled from all parts of the UK as well as from abroad to take part in this historic event.

“She commented that she thought Fell ponies were a rare breed and seeing so many together was a wonderful sight and one of her best birthday events.”


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Her Majesty was introduced to society members and their ponies.

“It was a unique, once in a lifetime experience, with everyone enjoying the marvellous surroundings and appreciating how special this event was to everyone, including The Queen,” said the spokesman.