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National Racehorse Week to honour Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen owned Estimate, who won the 2013 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot
The Queen owned Estimate, who won the 2013 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

Organisers say they will go ahead with National Racehorse Week – in honour of Queen Elizabeth II after her death.

The initiative, which sees the public meet horses at open days, will begin a day later than planned on Sunday.

Two open days, at Malton and Epsom, have been called off.

“The Queen’s knowledge and love of the thoroughbred was unrivalled and we want to honour this by continuing with National Racehorse Week,” said Great British Racing chief Rod Street.

“What better way for people to express their love and gratitude for the Queen than to get close to the very animals that brought her such immense pleasure throughout her life.

“Over the coming days thousands of people will be welcomed at yards up and down the country. Continuing with this event is a way to mark and reflect Her Majesty’s lifelong love of racing.”

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died on Thursday aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

She was a leading racehorse owner and breeder, and when Estimate won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013, it was the first time a reigning monarch had owned the winner in 207 years.

British racing was halted on Thursday, with all meetings cancelled on Friday and Saturday, but will resume on Sunday.

The nationwide open days will start on Sunday and end a week later, with this Saturday’s events cancelled or rescheduled. Places must be booked in advance.

A decision on the planned Sir Henry Cecil Open Weekend in Newmarket on 17 and 18 September will be taken early next week.

Now in its second year, the sport’s celebration of the racehorse invites people to go behind the scenes of racing to learn about lives of the thoroughbred.

Visitors are given the chance to see horses first-hand and talk to staff who look after them throughout the year.



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