The Duchess of Cornwall attended the Royal Artillery Gold Cup Meeting and presented the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown Park in Surrey on Friday.
The Royal Artillery Gold Cup Meeting honours the bravery and commitment of the British Armed Forces with a day of horse racing at Sandown Park.
The event is one of the two military race meetings held in the UK. The highlight is the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. Having existed for over 150 years, it is one of the oldest and most prominent events in the Racing Calendar.
First held in Eltham in 1862, the race moved in 1878 to Sandown Park and ran there every season since 1921.
Norman Conqueror, the horse, owned by The Queen Mother, won the race in 1996.
The race is limited to horses owned or let by those who are serving or have served, in the Royal Artillery. The requirement is that the jockeys are amateurs and past or present members of any of the Armed Services.
This year’s race featured its first female private soldier, Gunner Grace Gostelow.
Also participating in his first race is Captain Guy Disney. Captain Disney as one may recall participated in 2013 Walking With The Wounded trek to the South Pole with Prince Harry and Team Glenfiddich. Disney lost half of his right leg in 2009 in Afghanistan.
Camilla viewed the runners and met Royal Artillery officers and soldiers in the Parade Ring before returning to the Royal Box to view a parade of hounds from the Royal Artillery Hunt and watch the race.
The Duchess presented the Royal Artillery Gold Cup in the Winner’s Enclosure before meeting a group of Royal Artillery retired officers.
Prior to the Royal Artillery Gold Cup, The Duchess viewed runners in the Alanbrooke Handicap Steeple Chase and presented the Alanbrooke Challenge Cup.
Friday’s event recognises a crucial charitable theme, with sponsors and attendees kindly supporting Help for Heroes and Royal Artillery charities.
Camilla is known for her passionate interest in horses. She is an avid rider in her spare time and frequently attends racing and other equestrian events.