The Queen swapped Corgis for horses in her official birthday picture this year (Picture: henrydallalphotography.com/PA)

Corgis may be the animal most commonly associated with Queen Elizabeth II, but any royalist will tell you that Her Majesty has a special place in her heart for horses.

The Queen’s official portrait for her 96th birthday is evidence of this, picturing the monarch beaming while holding the reins of two of her own stunningly white fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie.

Although Her Majesty is having to miss out on today’s Epsom Derby due to mobility issues, many fans are wondering if her presence will still be felt in the shape of her racehorses.

So, does the Queen have any horses competing in this year’s Derby, and has she ever won the race before? Here is everything you need to know.

Does the Queen have a horse in the Epsom Derby 2022?

No, the Queen doesn’t have a horse racing in the actual Derby.

The three Thoroughbreds that she entered for the main event were withdrawn.

Queen Elizabeth II has no horses running in this year’s Derby (Picture: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty)

However, her horse Just Fine is set to compete in the penultimate race (the World Pool Northern Dancer Handicap) – so she still has a runner to cheer on.

Derby organisers also confirmed that five of her retired racehorses will join a parade at the track to celebrate her ‘unrivaled contribution to the equestrian world’.

Has the Queen ever won the Epsom Derby?

No, the Queen has never won the Epsom Derby.

In fact, the Derby is the only one of the five horse racing Classics Her Majesty has never won as an owner – having previously won the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks, and the St Leger.

According to the Online Betting Guide (OLBG), over the past 35 years the Queen has won 566 races and has entered horses in 3,441 races in the UK.

All these wins have added up to a massive £87 million in prize money, research by the OLBG has revealed.

Her Majesty’s best year as an owner was 2021, when she amassed £584,399 and 36 wins from her horses that carry the iconic colours – a purple jacket with gold braid, red sleeves, and a black velvet cap with a gold fringe.

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How many horses does the Queen own?

Although the exact number is unknown, it is widely believed that Her Majesty currently owns over 100 horses – a number that grows every year.

The Queen initially inherited thoroughbred breeding and racing stock from her late father King George VI, in 1952.

Elizabeth’s life-long love of equines started when she was four years old, after her parents gave the young princess a Shetland pony called Peggy. Her Majesty was riding by age six.

Her son Prince Charles previously told a BBC documentary, ‘She is a marvelous rider. She has a marvelous way with horses.’

In the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen on Friday, the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, hinted at her love of horses, saying ‘your majesty, we are sorry you are not here with us this morning in person. But we are so glad you are still in the saddle.’


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