Many families cherish tradition, passing along great grandma’s wedding china or the helmet worn by great, great granddaddy during WW1. If you happen to be a British Royal, you may well be genetically engineered to behold tradition, particularly regarding a passion for good horses.

Photo courtesy: Camera Press/Godfrey Argent

Queen Anne enjoyed horse racing so much that in 1711 she designated an expanse of land near Windsor Castle for racing which became Royal Ascot. Queen Victoria once broke a window in the royal viewing box while cheering a close finish. The queen mother was more interested in steeplechase winning 449 races during her lifetime. And Queen Elizabeth carries on her father’s love of turf racing.

The queen is well respected for her keen eye for good horses, particularly Thoroughbreds. She keeps approximately 20 horses in training and maintains a top-notch string for breeding. After 30 years racing she has won 452 of 2834 races, a win percentage of 15.9% according to MyRacing.com, a racing news site that analyzed data from public records from the British Horseracing Authority.

As of the end of the 2017 season the queen’s lifetime earnings from horse racing is $9,372,411.

Receiving the Gold Cup in 2013 at Royal Ascot

WARHorses’ Royal Horse Racing Facts

Queen Elizabeth leads her three-year-old filly Carrozza after winning the 1957 Epsom Oaks.

The queen greets a thoroughbred yearling at Polhampton Stud (2013). Photo Courtesy CNN

The queen greets Estimate after her 2013 Gold Cup win. Photo Courtesy: Alastair Grant/AP

  • The queen’s first win at Royal Ascot occurred two weeks after her 1953 coronation when, Choir Boy, won the Hunt Cup.

  • The queen is intimately involved with breeding and training her thoroughbreds. She names all her own horses.

  • The queen uses her own money to finance her racing interests.

  • She is known to unceremoniously show up at less prestigious races walking about the back side of the track with a scarf over her head.

  • The queen is famous for her regular morning read of The Racing Post.

  • The list of owners who have won the most prize money in a racing season dates back to 1894. The queen was first on that list in 1954 and 1957. Last year the queen placed 11th.

  • The queen’s most notable win is certainly the 2013 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with her four-year-old filly Estimate. This particular win marks the first time in the race’s 207 year history that a British monarch owned the winner.

  • The Epsom Derby is the only race win that has so far eluded the queen.