In her seventh decade on the throne, the effect of The Queen’s love of horses has extended not only to her family, but to the equestrian world at large, says Horse & Hound’s former Editor Michael Clayton
FROM early childhood our Queen was a horse-lover, but no one could have foreseen the immense contribution she would make to all our riding sports.
Everyone who shares The Queen’s passion for horses is in her debt, none more so than my generation, who were brought up during the deprivations of World War II. It was by no means guaranteed that equestrianism in Britain would blossom in the early post-war years of economic austerity. The lead given by the royal family was a crucial factor in the huge growth of riding as a widely popular sport.
We saw Princess Elizabeth, a stylish figure, as a consummate horsewoman in public, when she appeared riding side-saddle in a dark blue habit, at the 1947 Trooping the Colour ceremony, the first since the war.
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