Racing to acknowledge The Queen
The Thoroughbred Racing industry will acknowledge Her Majesty The Queen’s passing at its two race meetings on Saturday.
A moment’s silence will be observed at 11.30am at both Ruakaka and Hastings, with jockeys wearing black armbands throughout both meetings as a further mark of respect.
Queen Elizabeth II had a lifelong passion for thoroughbreds, and this saw her ownership interests spread across the world. New Zealand-born Chris Waller currently prepares Chalk Stream, who has raced in Her Majesty’s distinctive racing colours from Waller’s Rosehill stable. The Sea The Stars gelding holds a nomination for the 2022 Melbourne Cup.
“It is only fitting that New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing commemorates Her Majesty’s love of racing given it is something we have all been able to share with her,” NZTR CEO Bruce Sharrock said.
“The Queen was the Patron of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, opening their Ellerslie office during her 1990 visit to New Zealand. That interest in our breeding industry has also seen NZTR provide Her Majesty with a special edition of every printing of the New Zealand Stud Book throughout her reign,” he said.
The Queen made 10 visits to New Zealand and where possible her Kiwi itineraries accommodated an opportunity to recognise her devotion to all things thoroughbred, including time spent at Cambridge Stud, during Sir Patrick Hogan’s era.
Her first visit in 1953 included a visit to Sir James Fletcher’s Alton Lodge to view champion stallion Balloch, and to Te Rapa Stud where she also viewed yearlings being prepared for the 1954 sales. Queen Elizabeth II was also seen on course at race meetings across the country with Ellerslie, Te Rapa, Trentham, and Riccarton among those to host her.
“Footage of The Queen at race meetings always seemed to show her at her most relaxed, and she clearly enjoyed a day at the races,” Sharrock said.
“On Saturday we will remember her, not only as the monarch, but as one of the great participants of our sport.”