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“It nearly finished me;” Prince Charles recalls the death of his first racehorse

Princes William and Harry love motorbikes; their father has a passion for horses and horse racing.

Prince Charles hasn’t competed on horseback for years, but it’s still in his blood. In a rare show of intense emotion, Prince Charles opened up to the racing presenter, Brough Scott and ITV about losing his favourite racehorse, Allibar. The Prince lost his horse during a routine training in 1981.

Charles described the terrible moment his beloved horse died while he was riding him.

“He crashed onto the ground. I held his head while the life drained out of it. I couldn’t bear it because you see the life going out of his eyes,” Charles said. “It nearly finished me. I’ve never had that happen.”

Charles started racing at age 31 – unusually older than most who race because, as he said: “I wanted to understand what it was like from a jockey’s perspective. You have no idea until you do it what incredibly hard work it is.”

The prince took up the gruelling training. He ran and bicycled on a bike with no seat to build up his stamina.

The most famous race the prince participated in was in October 1980 at Ludlow Racecourse. His future wife, Lady Diana Spencer and ex-girlfriend at the time, Camilla Parker Bowles watched from the sidelines as the 2nd in line led during the first lap. He and Allibar placed 2nd.

The Prince recalled that race: “It was very exciting and I remember fantastic butterflies. I had no idea what I was doing!”

Charles passion for horse racing continues. He and Camilla own racehorses. They have a racehorse, named Carntop who jumps fences.

“Carntop is going to go jumping,” Camilla told the interviewer. “We have every intention of winning the Gold Cup now. The dream lives on.”

“Ah, those dreams!” the prince adds.

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