The Queen visits studs as part of Irish visit

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  • The Queen indulged her love of horseracing by visiting the Irish National Stud in Kildare, on the penultimate day of her first state visit to Ireland, yesterday 19 May.

    During her visit she met the seven trainers who were victorious at Cheltenham Festival alongside pupils, staff and alumni, including Johnny Murtagh (pictured), from the Racing Academy and Centre of Education.

    Chief executive of the Irish National Stud, John Osborne, accompanied her on her visit.

    He said: “The atmosphere was incredibly upbeat and the warmth which Her Majesty attracts was palpable.

    “The Queen was on great humour and there was laughter wherever she went.

    “The preparations were meticulous but made so easy by the positive attitude among all concerned. It has been a tremendous week for Ireland.”

    Some of the stud’s stallions were paraded in front of The Queen allowing her to cast a critical eye over possible future matches and also to see stallions she has used in the past.

    The Queen currently has Amadeus Wolf’s half-sister at her stud so he was one of the stud’s stallions paraded.

    She also saw the father of General Synod, who ran in her colours last weekend, Invincible Spirit.

    Young stallion Jeremy, who is descended from one of The Queen’s favourite horses Highclere, decided to give the royal a better view of himself by standing on his hind legs.

    But onlookers noted that she appeared unfazed by the incident and did not take a step back.

    During her visit to the stud she also unveiled a statue entitled ‘Sea of Stars’ dedicated to the similarly-named champion racehorse who now stands at the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud.

    In a break from the official itinerary she paid Gilltown a brief visit later in the day to see the 2,000 Guineas, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Epsom Derby champion from 2009, Sea the Stars.

    Some of the Queen’s charges have been in fine form recently with two winners in the show ring at Royal Windsor and Carlton House currently the ante-post favourite for the Epsom Derby.

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