Who would not want to find a hobby or interest that could help supplement their income, especially if it is something you have enjoyed since a child? Queen Elizabeth II has been interested in horses all her life, riding her first Shetland pony called Peggy at aged 4, and still riding out at 91. She also has a keen interest in horse-racing, as did the Queen Mother before her, and it has recently been revealed how successful that has been. According to figures published in USA Today, the Queens winnings total around $9,372,441 (around £6.75m) over the last thirty years.
Though the Queen does have advisers looking after her racecourses, she herself has a keen eye for good horses. Those combined talents have meant that the Queens success rate is about 16% having won 452 out of 2834 races, and of course, that percentage does not include horses finishing in the lower places. The Queens most successful year was two years ago in 2016 when her winnings totalled $775,325 (around £560,000), but possibly her greatest triumph was in 2013 when her horse “Estimate” won the Gold Cup during the Royal Ascot meeting.
However much these winnings look, there is also the other side of the coin – the cost. In order to generate these winnings, the Queen owns in excess of 100 racehorses, and it probably costs between £17 – £25,000 per horse per year for their upkeep (flat horses cost more than National Hunt). Keeping a close rein on finances is something Her Majesty is keen on in all aspects of her life, and she is known for wearing outfits a number of times at public events, sometimes with subtle changes of accessories. Energy is apparently another area where costs are saved where possible, and staff encouraged to turn lights off if rooms are not being used – apparently, even The Queen has been known to roam the corridors checking on occasion!
This year so far has been quiet concerning winning races for Queen Elizabeth, and the current cold snap and snow will not have helped. But, no doubt as the year progresses The Queen and her racing team will make many more visits to the winners’ enclosure.