England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, Virginia Wade’s Wimbledon and a lifelong passion for racing

England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, Virginia Wade’s Wimbledon and a lifelong passion for racing

England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, Virginia Wade’s Wimbledon and a lifelong passion for racing

The queen had a lifelong passion for horse racing, and this will be her great sporting legacy, but she was also present for a number of great sporting moments during her reign.

It was the Queen, the UK’s longest-lived monarch who died aged 96 at Balmoral on Thursday, who presented the Jules Rimet trophy to Bobby Moore after England’s World Cup final triumph over West Germany at Wembley on July 30, 1966.

She also made an appearance at Wimbledon’s Center Court in 1977, handing the Venus Rosewater Dish to Virginia Wade, the British home women’s singles champion in the monarch’s silver jubilee year.

Most recently, he presented the racing Derby trophy to winning jockey Pat Smullen in 2016 after his successful run on Harzand.

A crowning glory at the racecourse

The then Princess Elizabeth is said to have been on horseback for the first time at the age of three, before receiving her pony, Peggy, at four. Later, she became an enthusiastic and established biker, and this has passed through the generations.

Her daughter, Princess Anne, and granddaughter, Zara Phillips, were both voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year winners for their achievements. Anne was an individual European champion in 1971, while Zara won individual gold at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

The queen inherited a stock of horses from her father, King George VI, upon his death in 1952, and became passionate about breeding thoroughbred racehorses, some of which continued to compete and win important races.

One of these, Aureole, came second in the Epson Derby in 1953, the year of the queen’s coronation.

She was a patron of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association from 1954 until her death, with her thoroughbreds based at the Royal Stud in Sandringham.

There have been Classics winners who have emerged from the ranks of the horses he bred with Pall Mall by winning the 2,000 guineas in 1958, Highclere who got the 1,000 guineas and the Prix de Diane in 1974 and Dunfermline who prevailed at Oaks and St Leger. in 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Year.

Carriage, rented from the national stable to the monarch, won The Oaks in Epsom in 1957, with Lester Piggott on board.

“He loves breeding racehorses,” his racing manager John Warren told CNN in 2014. “The British blood industry is very lucky to have a patron like the queen.”

In a 1974 BBC documentary, The Queen’s Racehorses: A Personal View, the Queen said, “My philosophy on racing is simple. I like to breed a horse faster than the others. And for me, this is a gamble. far back. I like to run but I guess basically I love horses and the thoroughbred embodies a really good horse for me. “

In 2013, she became the first reigning monarch to own the Ascot Gold Cup winner when the favorite Estimate, coached by Michael Stoute and led by Ryan Moore, took the honor.

Moore later said, “It doesn’t happen very often, but we have to get Estimate past the crowd, past the stands, and the Queen’s box is very central above the victory line. I remember being able to look up and tilt my hat to her and kind of say “Thank you”, and you could see how excited she was. “

Away from the track

There was no sport to rival racing in the Queen’s affection, yet she was famous for those historic victories of the English football team in 1966 and of Wade in a year of flag-flying.

His presence added to the gravity of those victories, indelible moments in which millions were already heavily invested.

The queen often sent messages of congratulations or support to sports personalities at crucial moments.

Recently, he told England’s women’s football team – the Lionesses – that their home triumph at Euro 2022 would serve as “inspiration for the girls and women of today and for future generations”.

In a message to England’s Men’s European Championships finalists in July 2021, he told Gareth Southgate’s team: “Fifty-five years ago I was lucky enough to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant for the players, management and support staff. reach and win the final of a major international football tournament “.

The Queen’s visit to Wimbledon in 1977 did not give her the tennis bug, and she returned only once, in 2010, walking the grounds of the All England Club before settling in Center Court to see Andy Murray beat the Finn. Jarkko Nieminen.

On that visit he met a number of tennis greats, including Roger Federer who described it as “a great honor”.

Federer said: “After 33 years there is a huge happiness that he should visit this year for the fans. I am so happy to have had the chance to meet her.”

In 2013, he sent Murray a private message when the Scotsman became the first British men’s singles champion at Wimbledon for 77 years, while also praising the achievements of teams including England’s 2019 Cricket World Cup winners. and the winners of the 2011 New Zealand Rugby World Cup. He also held a reception for the England team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

The triumph of London and an unchanged passion

The London Olympics was the biggest sporting event in the homeland during her life and the Queen bravely took part in a James Bond comedy sketch alongside 007 actor Daniel Craig who was shown at the opening ceremony, pretending to show it. while jumping from a helicopter and parachute in the Olympic Stadium.

He delivered the speech that declared the Games open, and later greeted the efforts of those who made the 17 days of competition such a resounding success, declaring: “I offer my congratulations to the athletes of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, the whose efforts across the range of Olympic disciplines have truly captured the public’s imagination and earned their admiration. “

The success of his niece’s medal would have been one of the sweetest personal moments for the head of the royal family.

In her later years, the Queen’s passion for equestrian sport remained unchanged and one of her last public appearances took place at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2022.

It was there that his five-year-old gray mare, Balmoral Leia, won the Highland Class 64 event and also received the absolute honor of mountain and moorland, a timely triumph in its owner’s platinum jubilee year.

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