Queen Elizabeth II: Monarch's unwavering passion for horse breeding at 90

Story highlights

  • Queen Elizabeth's passion for horse breeding started early
  • Still passionate almost a century later
  • Joy comes from the "journey" not winning

(CNN)The Queen may be entering her 10th decade but her passion for breeding racehorses is by no means diminishing.

It's a hobby that has lasted almost a century and those who know her best recall the first time her enthusiasm for horses was kindled.
    "It's an in-built passion," said John Warren, Bloodstock & Racing Advisor to Queen Elizabeth II.
    "It started when she was a teenager and she had hairy little ponies -- then her father introduced her to a thoroughbred.
    "When she touched the skin of the thoroughbred she didn't want to wash her hands for the rest of the day, so she got really addicted to it very young and nothing has diminished or changed over all these years."
    You could be forgiven for thinking that all the joy in horse breeding comes from watching your mount win high-profile races.
    But, certainly for Her Majesty, most of the satisfaction comes from seeing the horse develop from foal to steed.
    "The Queen loves the journey of breeding a racehorse," Warren explains.
    He added: "So it's not about winning the Group Ones that's important to the Queen, it's about the journey of each horse that she breeds."