The equestrian world is in mourning following the loss of The Queen last week (8 September). A dedicated and passionate horsewoman, Her Majesty’s love for equestrian sport and horses and ponies continued throughout her life, and there are countless riders, events, organisations and charities she inspired and supported.

Amateurs and professionals alike have been sharing tributes and special memories, with many finding unique ways to honour The Queen. Events and governing bodies have also been reflecting on her passing, as well as the equestrian charities who were close to her heart.

Here are some of the moving tributes from the horse world that have been shared since Thursday:

‘An honour and a privilege’

A group of 32 riders in Scotland made a special gesture by lining up with their horses as The Queen’s cortège passed. They stood in a field by the M90 near Glenfarg and were spotted by Princess Anne, who waved.

Organisers Emma and Sue Cheape said she was “overwhelmed and mind blown” by the support her “small gathering to pay tribute to Her Majesty” had received.

Leading show producer Katie Jerram-Hunnable, who rode the Queen’s horses for around two decades, shared her precious memories.

“What an honour and privilege this has been over the years,” she said. “The Queen followed her wonderful bloodlines with great enthusiasm and appetite for success; we were always excited to look at the young horses with Terry [Pendry, The Queen’s head groom] each Spring. Her Majesty has sent generations going back for many years and we have trained mothers, and the following generations, from the stables of Hampton Court & Sandringham.

“The days we spent with The Queen looking at youngsters at Hampton Court, taking the retrains from Sandringham, and many a day at Windsor Castle, showing Her Majesty how the youngsters were progressing, and discussing their plans for the future.  Terry always gave Her Majesty a brown paper bag, full of carrots, to reward her horses. Every time at Windsor I pinched myself as to how lucky and privileged we were to be part of her passion.​

“Her Majesty was the most amazing lady, my goodness what a horsewoman she was, and will be so sorely missed within the equine industry; her knowledge, love and passion for the horse was unmeasurable.”

Katie thanked Her Majesty for all the horses that have passed through her base at Collins Farm, especially Barbers Shop and Terry Pendry for all his “unyielding support and encouragement”.

“We will miss her wise words and wisdom, may she rest in piece with her beloved Prince Philip, and the great corgis,” she added.

Charlotte Dujardin shared her favourite moments with Her Majesty in an emotional tribute.

“I had the great honour of meeting the Queen on more than one occasion, as did our one-n-a-million, Valegro,” she said. “It really is the saddest day, as her death ends the longest reign in British history.

“She was a devoted equestrian and a selfless and wonderful person. I can only hope that she is now at peace, reunited with her beloved Duke.”

The racing industry mourns

Great British Racing shared a touching tribute voiced by Brough Scott, showcasing The Queen’s love, passion and devotion to racing and racehorses during her 70-year reign.

National Racehorse Week commenced on Sunday, one day later than planned, in line with British horseracing’s suspension.

Philip Freedman, Chair of Retraining of Racehorses, shared his appreciation for The Queen’s support of racehorse aftercare in Great Britain.

“Her impact and influence on the sport of horseracing was immeasurable and it was a similar story in terms of her championing the versatility of the thoroughbred after racing,” he said. “Few horses have done more to showcase what former racehorses are capable of than the Queen’s own Barbers Shop and Quadrille.”

‘A true champion of the horse’

On behalf of the equestrian community, British Equestrian offered its condolences to King Charles III and all members of the Royal Family.

“Her Majesty’s unwavering dedication and remarkable stoicism are a leading example to us all,” said Jim Eyre, Chief Executive of British Equestrian. “She was such a wonderful supporter of equestrianism throughout her life, a true champion of the horse, and our community will feel her loss most deeply indeed.”

The Queen was a regular visitor to Badminton Horse Trials from 1952 and right the way through the 1970s, as a guest of the 10th Duke of Beaufort, who was also Master of the Horse and who founded the event.

“Those of an older generation will remember The Queen, often accompanied by the Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret and their children, hacking out in the Park with Master, attending church at Badminton and watching the cross-country from farm trailers or a rug beside the Lake, mingling with spectators and thoroughly enjoying the occasion,” said a Badminton spokesman.

The Queen would present the prizes on the final day of competition and, in 1974, was able to hand the trophy to her son-in-law, Captain Mark Phillips, who had won on her horse, Columbus lV. In addition that year, her daughter, Princess Anne, was fourth on another of her horses, Goodwill.

“Badminton Horse Trials is very privileged to have had the association with HM The Queen and the Royal Family. In the months preceding the event, the office phone would ring constantly and it was always the same question: ‘Will The Queen be attending Badminton this year?'”

‘Incalculable benefit to horses’

The British Horse Society (BHS) applauded Her Majesty’s lasting legacy to horses, recognising her “profound interest in all disciplines and elements of equestrianism” which has been of “incalculable benefit to horses everywhere”.

“Her life-long love for them shone brightly on every occasion she was seen in their company,” said Tim Lord, BHS Chairman. “Her example is inspiring to us all, and one that I am sure has promoted positive equestrian participation in many other people

The Queen was also a shining example to equestrian students, including those at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). She became Patron in 1952, having taken on the patronage following the death of her father King George VI.

“We have been delighted to welcome her to our campus twice, most recently in March 1996, when she and Prince Philip visited for the College’s 150th anniversary,” said Professor Peter McCaffery, Vice-Chancellor of the RAU.

“During their visit they both showed a keen interest in all areas of the College and kindly took time to meet and talk with both staff and students. Despite the wet weather, she planted a mature black poplar tree at the front of the campus to mark the College’s anniversary.

“The Union Flag at our Cirencester campus is being flown at half-mast and a Book of Condolence has been opened in the RAU Chapel for all staff, students, and alumni who wish to pay their respects.”

Helping equines in need

The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall, President of Brooke, watch a demonstration by Brooke Global Ambassador Monty Roberts at the Royal Mews. Photograph by Ian Jones

Brooke chief executive officer, Chris Wainwright said all those at the charity were “profoundly saddened” to hear the news of Her Majesty The Queen’s passing.

“She had a huge lifelong love for horses and, coupled with Queen Consort’s presidency of Brooke, this has meant Brooke has had the privilege of being a charity close to her heart throughout her life,” he said. “We were immensely proud to be included as one of only two equine charities in The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration book, published in 2016.”

Her Majesty continued to ride in recent years, inspiring so many equestrians, as Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive, Redwings, noted.

“When images of her riding one of her beloved Fell ponies would appear — an activity she continued well into her nineties — they would always bring a smile to my face seeing the obvious enjoyment and respect she had for these beautiful creatures,” she said.

Lead image by Shutterstock

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