Headlining this special edition is an extensive illustrated equestrian biography which documents Queen Elizabeth’s life in the saddle beginning in 1931 and ending in 2022.
I am also proud to reveal the creation and publication of the extensive Shakespeare Equestrian Collection.
In keeping with the celebration of all things royal, the renowned English equestrian historian Dr. Paula Sells wrote a fascinating article revealing the history of the royal stables. Joining the HRL team is Scottish Long Rider Louis Hall. Young, empathetic and intuitive, he writes about his Journey Across the Heart of Europe.
The entire December publication of Horse & Rider Living is unprecedented and as the publisher, I am proud to be part of this event.
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.
Shakespeare and Horses: Facts and Findings is a special summary article designed to provide the average reader with an easy to understand but vitally important list of facts about how horses exerted such a strong influence on Shakespeare’s personal and professional life. It contrasts the remarkable differences between the equestrian worlds of Queen Elizabeth 1 and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Let me ask you a question. What do these six men have in common: Jonathan Swift, Lord Byron, Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, William Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene?
If you answered, “They are all famous English authors” you would be partially correct. If you neglected to add that they were all enthusiastic Long Riders whose equestrian journeys influenced their lives and literature, then you will have missed a vital historical fact.
Darwin reveled in the horseback adventures he made in the jungles of Brazil, across the pampas of Argentina and through the Australian outback. If the father of natural selection has been stereotyped as a geriatric with dyspepsia, then could the Bard of Avon likewise have been misinterpreted? This portion of the Shakespeare Equestrian Collection considers that possibility.
The facts are obvious. Scottish Long Rider Louis Hall pioneered the first modern equestrian trail from Italy to Spain. The journey took 110 days to complete, with 84 days spent in the saddle.
Louis rode 2,789 kilometres (1,733 miles). It was the spiritual dimension of the journey that took the young Long Rider by surprise. He learned that in these uncertain times his adventure managed to untie the angst and fears of hearts and minds everywhere he rode. This is the remarkable story of a traveller who discovered that, “I once knew horses to be healers. I then understood them to be unifiers. I now know them to be companions in a world that thirsts for healing, unity and friendship.”
After completing his journey across Europe, Scottish Long Rider Louis Hall is preparing to ride “Ocean to Ocean” across the United States. His route will take him from Florida’s Atlantic to California’s Pacific.
He said, “I aim to travel across America by horse because this animal has no time for creed or colour. The horse does not judge you or receive you from where you come from, which political party you align with, your sexual preference, but it measures you equally by what you give to the world around you. It lives off peaceful hearts and minds and cultivates companionship and, above all, connection. This connection is one that unifies people from all walks of life. The horse brings people closer together by opening us up to ourselves. As I have discovered in my previous rides, the nature of the horse sees through the troubles that humans create, thus uniting us in a pure and untainted way.”
There is a steady stream of predictable books that cater to the latest fad in the horse world. This book breaks the rules by being the first to explore a vital part of equestrian history that tottering is on the edge of extinction. Dr. Paula Sells spent years documenting the equine equipment used in 27 different activities ranging from the pit ponies confined in the Welsh coal mines to the equestrian explorers roaming the world. Canadian Long Rider Bonnie Folkins interviewed the author and reviews a fascinating book full of historical surprises and museum quality photographs.
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.