Prince Harry’s engagement to Megham Markle has been headline news throughout the day. How is Harry already 33 years old? I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday – but I digress. Congrats to the happy couple, terrific news indeed!
Today’s WARHorse post reflects a different Royal moment, one at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. In a recent interview with ITV, Prince Charles candidly recalled the anguish of losing his first race horse, Allibar, 25 years ago.
Prince Charles riding Allibar, 1982. Photo by Arthur Edwards
In the early 1980’s, Charles, then in his early 30’s, rode in 6 races as an amateur jockey. His first race horse was a 10-year-old, Irish racehorse gelding named Allibar. The duo placed second in a handicap chase at Ludlow while soon-to-be wife, Lady Diana Spencer and ex-girlfriend, now wife, Camilla Parker Bowles cheered from the sidelines.
“It was very exciting and I remember fantastic butterflies,” Charles said of the race. “I had no idea what I was doing!”
The following year, Charles and Allibar were training in preparation for an upcoming race. Galloping across the countryside one morning, Charles felt Allibar slow. Urged by onlookers to dismount, Allibar suddenly collapsed beside him.
“He crashed onto the ground. I held his head while the life drained out of it. I couldn’t bear it because you see the life going out of his eyes,” Charles said. “It nearly finished me.”
Charles spoke to ITV prior to last weekend’s Prince’s Countryside Fund Racing Weekend and Christmas Shopping Fair at Ascot. The annual event raises money for the Prince’s Countryside Fund benefit. Established in 2010, the charity helps British farmers by providing up to $1.6 million in grants each year.
Feature photo courtesy The Prince’s countryside Fund/Twitter (PCF(@countrysidefund). The Royals attending the Ascot fund raising November 24 & 25, 2017.