Few lives have been filled with so many enormous events. When Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952 Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union. That mighty empire disappeared and the world changed but for 70 years there was one political and emotional stability in millions of people’s lives: Queen Elizabeth II.
The longest reigning British monarch in history, she was Commander in Chief of the Army, Head of the Church of England, attended 21,000 public engagements, gave her Royal Assent to 4,000 Acts of Parliament and raised more than £1.4 billion for worthy causes. She met five Popes and thirteen US Presidents. She greeted 15 British prime ministers from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss.
Yet politics never dimmed her passion for horses. She first mounted at the age of 3 and spent the next 93 years of her life, riding, raising and racing thousands of horses. This unique biography offers the first chronological equestrian review of this remarkable royal horse woman.
When asked to think of the famous monuments in England’s ancient capital famous names spring to mind including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London. As is often the case, horse history is overlooked. That is why many people are unaware of the Royal Stables created by King Richard II in 1377.
The renowned British equestrian historian Dr. Paula Sells has composed a beautifully illustrated article which reveals the equine treasure that has served the Royal family for 645 years.
It took more than five years to complete this intensive examination that documents how horses deeply influenced the personal and professional life of England’s most famous author. Her Majesty was the first to inspect this treasure trove that contains a rare pictorial biography, the first illustrated list of equine actors and an outstanding collection of articles.
Though Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was a renowned equestrian, she was also an enthusiastic motorist who learned to drive while serving as a trained mechanic in the British Army during the Second World War. Seen driving to a 1956 polo match, the monarch loved the freedom she found behind the wheel of the many types of automobiles that filled her royal garage.
The 1924 “Royal Rodeo” was the first and last to be held in Great Britain! That’s because American promoter Tex Austin unwittingly caused Parliament to pass the ground breaking Protection of Animals Act.
Cowboys and Kings, America and the Royals, romance and drama, kidnap and rescue, this film touches on a long list of genres, all in a 15 minute run time!
Greta and Alejandro Matos became members of the Long Riders’ Guild, the international association of equestrian explorers, when they rode across Chile. When they set off across Northern Patagonia in 2022, their daughter Sofía Alegría joined them. Upon the completion of the journey Sofía became the youngest person ever to be made a Member of the Long Riders’ Guild. Yet as she rode with Sofía Alegría sitting in front, Greta realised that the Little Long Rider symbolised every child whose future is in danger because of climate change. In a remarkable introspection the Mother, Long Rider and Environmentalist explains “Our children, just like our Earth, hold the key to our collective future. If there was ever a time to reconnect with the bravery within our hearts, face our fears about our uncertain future, and turn toward the unknown with curiosity, it is now.”
In researching equine issues with heat, I received an article published at UF/IFAS about Anhidrosis (or in layman’s terms, non-sweating) in horses. The reasons for non-sweating horses are still unknown, and though data regarding certain breeds has been produced and factors identified, there is no definite treatment defined for this condition.
Rising temperatures around the planet present a danger to millions of equine lives. Yet the vital facts of how heat can injure or kill horses is not widely known or understood. The most extensive international study of this threat is contained in the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration, written by CuChullaine O’Reilly, Founder of the Long Riders’ Guild. He has adapted the illustrated chapter which contains the collective wisdom of Long Riders past and present. The author has authorised HRL magazine to encourage the public dissemination of the article in the hope that this vital information may help save equine lives.
As dancers, our desire is quite different from the objective of an equestrian…Our desire is about finding shared moments of engagement, perhaps co-creating a shared movement language. Our team of filmmakers and dancers have been a constant presence in these young equines’ lives.