An incredible vision of Queen Elizabeth II rushing to the track’s balcony to catch a glimpse of a horse winning the time-honored Epsom Derby has resurfaced after her death last week at age 96.
Her Majesty’s love of horses and racing is well documented, with the 1991 vision showing how much she invested in and enjoyed both the animals and the sport throughout her remarkable life.
In the 1992 BBC documentary Elizabeth R, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family are featured in Epsom for the 1991 Derby, taking part in the grand racing tradition of a low-cost sweepstakes.
Her Majesty pulls Generous out of the hat in the sweep and stands inside the box to watch the 2,420-meter race on television.
As the horses head up the straight, Generous emerges with a handy lead.
The Queen runs across the room with binoculars in hand to watch the three-year-old stallion cross the line from the balcony opposite the finish line.
‘That’s my horse, isn’t it? That’s my horse!’ said the Queen, turning to her mother looking at Generous.
‘Oh my god, mother! We won!’
Queen Elizabeth often couldn’t hide her happiness when she stopped to pet a horse – like this one at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
After the monarch saw the winning horse and trainer return to parade in front of the excited crowd, an assistant handed her her winnings.
“What do I get?” asked Her Majesty, to which the assistant replied, “Well, you’ll have 16, ma’am.”
‘Sixteen pounds! Oh!’ she exclaimed.
The Queen is believed to have never placed any bets apart from the Royal Family’s annual sweepstakes at the Epsom Derby.
Queen Elizabeth II was so excited to see her sweep win the Epsom Derby in 1991 that she ran across the suite
Earlier in the program, there was another heartwarming scene where the Monarch tells her mother that it’s nice to be on track to watch the race, rather than staring at a television.
“You know I haven’t looked with binoculars in ages, look how it’s pouring with tears, I always watch the television,” said the queen.
Many have commented over the years that the Queen was happiest and most relaxed when talking about horses.
At the time of her death, she had won 534 races from 3,205 runs as a racehorse owner and is thought to have earned $13.1 million from her hobby over the past 31 years.
Biographer Ben Pimlott quoted a confidant from the horse world in his book, The Queen, when describing her passion for animals and the sport.
“She is very interested in barn management – and most happy with the details of the feed, the quality of the wood chips and so on,” he wrote.
The Queen (pictured galloping at Ascot ahead of a June 1961 meeting) had ‘such an affinity for her horses’ according to her racing adviser John Warren
Top trainer Richard Hannon Senior said Her Majesty’s horse knowledge put many highly qualified trainers to shame.
“I always had to do my homework when I was running one of Her Majesty’s horses or when she came to visit our stables,” he said.
‘She knows all the pedigrees of her horses through and through. It’s not talked about when it comes to her horses. She knows all the bloodlines going back decades.
“She also used to say to me after a barn tour, ‘It’s nice to get to a place that doesn’t smell like fresh paint.'”
The Queen was delighted to see her filly Estimate win the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup – her racecourse
It was a view shared by her race advisor John Warren.
“If the queen wasn’t the queen she would have been a great trainer. She has such an affinity with her horses and is so observant,” Warren once said.
The British Horseracing Authority paid tribute to the beloved monarch who suspended race rallies when news of her death broke.
“The whole of British Racing is in mourning today after the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. Her passion for racing and the racehorse shone brightly throughout her life,” the authority said in a statement.