‘Everyone adores her’: The late Queen’s pony Emma wins award – and carrots

  • The Fell pony who was The Queen’s companion for the last 13 years of her life is “adored by everyone”, her former rider said.

    Lizzie Briant, who showed Carltonlima Emma at events including Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and the London International Horse Show, collected the 26-year-old’s Agria Horse of a Lifetime title, and a bag of carrots, at the Horse & Hound Awards, in partnership with NAF.

    “I’m very honoured to be here, and can’t believe she’s won it,” Lizzie said. “I’m here on behalf of Terry Pendry, stud manager at Windsor Castle who unfortunately couldn’t be with us, but he will be absolutely made up about this.”

    Lizzie explained that she “persuaded” Terry to buy Emma for The Queen as a brood mare.

    “We managed to buy her in foal,” she said. “She had the most incredible temperament so I asked if I could show her, and Her Majesty said yes.”

    Emma, who was “born on the fells” was successful in her short showing career; she stood Cuddy supreme champion at Devon County, and qualified for HOYS ridden finals and the Olympia mountain and moorland supreme championships final. She also appeared in three pageants at Royal Windsor.

    She was last ridden by The late Queen on 18 July this year, and she touched hearts two months later as she stood on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty’s headscarf carefully folded over the saddle, as the funeral cortege arrived.

    “She’s a typical Fell,” Lizzie said. “She’s got the most incredible temperament, she’s sure-footed, she’s forward-going, she never minded any atmosphere. She’s never put a foot wrong; the most lovely ride and the kindest of mares.

    “She’s 26 now and she’s very, very loved by all the team; Terry and his incredible team at the Royal Mews. She has the most incredible life – everyone adores her and she couldn’t ask for more.”

    Emma has many progeny, and Lizzie said a three-year-old grandaughter of hers is due to arrive with her next week.

    H&H editor-in-chief Sarah Jenkins said: “I don’t think we can overstate the love Her late Majesty The Queen had for horses – her native breed bloodlines, her Fells and Emma particularly. She put a great amount of expert knowledge into breeding from Emma – and others – to ensure the continuation of fine examples of these native breeds. I do so hope we will continue to see these animals Her Majesty loved so much, bred so well, and had produced beautifully for the show ring by riders like Lizzie Briant and Katie Jerram-Hunnable, shining in this way in her memory.”

    Sarah added that few will forget seeing The Queen’s smile in the grounds of Windsor Castle as she enjoyed watching her horses and ponies shown at Royal Windsor Horse show, often to great success.

    “Carltonlima Emma is a particularly fine example of her breed and had the perfect temperament to become Her Majesty’s much-loved hack,” she said. “We saw even during the last few years of her life The Queen out riding on Emma in Windsor – a wonderful picture of a happy partnership.

    “Horse & Hound’s readers voted in their thousands for Carltonlima Emma to win this award, having all been touched by the poignancy of her appearance on the Long Walk at Her Majesty’s funeral. The mare is a credit to her breed and those who have cared for and continue to care for her. We were delighted to be able to honour her at our awards ceremony last night, and thank our awards partner NAF and class sponsor Agria for making that possible.”

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