In memoriam of Her Majesty The Queen

The period of mourning gives us all time to reflect on our own personal thoughts and memories of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Jane Holderness-Roddam CVO CBE remembers fondly the times she received her Badminton trophies from The Queen.

“I was lucky enough to be presented with my two Badminton wins both times by The Queen, in 1968 and 1978,” said Jane. “It was obviously fantastic to be able to get my trophy from The Queen – who would have thought, it was just my second Badminton and I won with my little Pony Club pony, Our Nobby. The Queen was so enthusiastic about the win and how wonderful it was that such a little horse [Our Nobby measured just over 14.3hh] should win.

“She just was so interested and supportive. Every time you saw her talking to any competitors, she took a genuine interest and was so excited with the breeding of the horses and all that sort of thing. She was interested in every aspect of it.”

The sport of eventing has provided some wonderful moments for the Royal family over the years, something Jane believes meant a lot to Her Majesty. “She was such a supporter of the sport and it’s been lovely to think that she watched both her daughter and her granddaughter win European Championships.

“It was wonderful to see The Princess Royal winning and being presented with her prize and that I know was a great thrill to The Queen, to see The Princess Royal win the European Championships in 1971. And then of course for Zara to then win it again at Blenheim on Toytown in 2005 must have been such a thrill to her.

“I think it was really a thrill for the sport that Princess Anne and Zara were so involved. Her Majesty has been involved from almost the very beginning, when we first started eventing from Badminton, right through to the present day and watching Zara at the Olympics. It was wonderful to see her involvement all the way through.”

Eventing’s Performance Manager, Richard Waygood MBE is fortunate to have many personal memories of Her Majesty The Queen, having spent seven years serving as her Riding Master in the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

“I was hugely privileged to ride for Her Majesty and also to be her Riding Master in the Household Cavalry,” he recalls. “It was incredible to be a very small part of that journey and to ride for someone who was not only so enthusiastic about horses and equestrianism but also someone who understood people so well and was so enormously respected for her high values throughout Great Britain, the Commonwealth and around the World.

“Riding for Her Majesty was amazing. She would come down and watch the horses work at the barracks sometimes or I would take them up and she would watch them in the grounds of Windsor Castle from time to time. I was able to use the facilities in and around the Castle, which was fantastic. My most memorable moment was probably in the Services Jumping at Royal Windsor Horse Show – competing at The Queen’s Horse Show, in The Queen’s Cup, riding one of Her Majesty’s horses and winning in front of her was an absolute highlight.”

It is a memory of a quiet Saturday morning at Windsor Castle though that Richard feels best captures what made The Queen so special. “Her Majesty had given permission for me to bring the riding instructors serving at the time down from Knightsbridge to have a picture taken with the Castle as a backdrop. Her Majesty joined us for the picture, and not only did she join us, but she spent over an hour and half talking to every soldier there.

“There were 21 guys and she spoke to every single one of them, asking them about their careers and about their horses. It was something that she absolutely didn’t need to do on a Saturday morning but that was just the mark of the hugely respected Sovereign that she was. She made every one of those people feel like they were the most important people on the planet that day. A memory that no one can take away.

“The equestrian world is extremely fortunate to have had The Queen so interested in equestrianism. Obviously, she has owned some great event horses with Captain Mark Phillips, Princess Anne and Zara, but to also have the National Hunt and Flat Racehorses, carriage horses, ceremonial horses, hacking horses, Highland Ponies – the list just goes on. We are incredibly lucky to have had her influence, together with that of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, to bring people into the horse world.”

Paying tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, Helen West, Chief Executive for British Eventing said, “Her Majesty the Queen has been a constant and a pillar of stability in all of our lives.  Her love of all things equine is well known to us all and I was always full of respect and admiration of her deep-seated knowledge of the sport. Her loss within our community will be felt deeply. On behalf of the equestrian community, British Eventing offers our heartfelt condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and all members of the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.”


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