Horses

Beloved Burmese & Royal Windsor

Like many Royals before her, The Queen has ridden regularly from early childhood and has made sure that riding has been made available to all of her children and grandchildren, many of whom have embraced equestrian sports both professionally and as a pastime.

The Queen has ridden a succession of different horses since her first appearance at Trooping the Colour in 1947, the first ceremony to be held after the end of the Second World War. One mount in particular stands out, however: a black mare named Burmese.

The Queen on horse

Burmese was given to Her Majesty by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969 when representatives came to England to perform at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The horse was seven years old at the time. She had been trained in Ottawa and was ready for her first Trooping the Colour parade later the same year.

The Queen rode her in the annual Birthday Parade every year after that until she was retired after the 1986 ceremony. Following her retirement, The Queen decided that she did not wish to have a new horse trained in her place and Her Majesty has attended the parade in a horse-drawn carriage ever since.

Burmese sadle

On her visit to Regina in 2005, The Queen unveiled a statue of the mare who died in 1990.

The Royal Windsor Horse show is an annual fixture for which the Royal Family have a great affection.

Held annually for five days in May or June in Windsor Home Park, the Royal Windsor Horse Show has always enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the Royal Family.

Queen on Burmese
The Queen salutes on Burmese

It began in 1943 with the founding of the Royal Windsor Horse Show Club which was set up to hold horse shows for charity. King George VI became its Patron and the first Royal Windsor Horse was held on 27 May 1944, attended by numerous members of the Royal Family including the King and Queen. Princess Elizabeth (now our current Queen) won the Single Private Driving on her pony Hans and Princess Margaret won the Wartime Utility Driving Class on the King’s Fell pony Gipsy.

The show steadily grew in popularity and size during the latter half of the 20th century and Royal involvement continued. The Queen became Patron in 1952, and two years later she donated The Queen’s Cup for Armed Services team jumping.
Her Majesty still attends each year along with other members of her family, and The Duke of Edinburgh regularly competes in carriage driving competitions.

In 2008, Her Majesty presented His Royal Highness with the Royal Horse Society’s Queen's Medal for Services to Equestrianism during the show.

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