Her Majesty The Queen has become the first entry into the QIPCO British Champions Series Hall of Fame within the Special Contributor category for her “unwavering commitment and longstanding patronage of the sport”.
From celebrating her first winner in 1949, the Queen has been a consistent presence in racing as an owner/breeder through eight decades, as well as acting as an unofficial figurehead for the sport in Britain, particularly though its globally recognised flagship Flat meeting, Royal Ascot.
“I suspect that The Queen will have a lot of inner pride in being invited into the Hall of Fame,” said Her Majesty's bloodstock and racing advisor John Warren. “The Queen's contribution to racing and breeding derives from a lifelong commitment. Her love of horses and their welfare comes with a deep understanding of what is required to breed, rear, train and ride a thoroughbred.”
He added, “Her Majesty's fascination is unwavering and her pleasure derives from all of her horses–always accepting the outcome of their ability so gracefully.”
Sir Francis Brooke, The Queen's Representative at Ascot Racecourse, said, “The inclusion of The Queen within the Hall of Fame recognises her unique contribution to the world of racing, not only as an enthusiast, but also as a successful owner and breeder and as its most important patron.”
The Queen has been represented by more than 1,800 winners, including the Classic winners Carrozza (GB), Highclere (GB), Pall Mall (GB) and Dunfermline (GB). She has twice been Champion Flat Owner in Britain, in 1954 and 1957. In 2022, The Queen will become the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, with the Derby at Epsom set to form part of the official celebration of her historic 70-year reign.
Sir Michael Stoute, the 10-time champion trainer whose many successes for The Queen include training her Gold Cup winner Estimate (Ire), said, “Her Majesty will be thrilled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She richly deserves it because her contribution has been enormous. She loves it so much.
“I've found that training for The Queen comes with no pressure. Because of her understanding, her deep knowledge and her thirst for more. She's always thinking ahead–what I'm going to do with this animal, am I going to breed it, who should I breed it to, temperament, speed, stamina. She's fascinated with the whole idea and we must remember it's a very long time that she's been doing it.”
Recalling Estimate's famous Royal Ascot victory, Ryan Moore, who has ridden 71 winners for The Queen, added, “The thing I remember most about that day is the cheering. I probably hadn't ever received a reception like that at the Royal Meeting, or any time before really. It was different on that day–you can see with The Queen how much it means to her; the way she smiles when she's looking at her horses, the enjoyment she was getting out of that. People want to see her do well and winning the Gold Cup, it's hard to top that. It was such a special day.”