While in Newmarket on Wednesday, the Queen, dressed in pink, was on hand to open the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.
She also unveiled a stunning statue of herself with a foal and a mare — a gift from the town in honor of her 90th birthday.
But the highlight of her visit was coming face-to-face with her former horses, who have since retired from racing.
And the Queen couldn’t hide her excitement as she caught up with Barber’s Shop over a few carrots.
Barber’s Shop holds a special place in the royal’s heart, as he was the last horse to be bred by the Queen Mother. The champion horse was a 3-week-old foal when the Queen inherited him in 2002, and he proved victorious at this year’s Royal Windsor horseshow.
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She also spent some time with Prince’s Trust. She took of one of her black gloves and fed the horse four carrots, which he quickly gobbled. He also received a loving stroke on the head from the Queen.
“She loves giving the horses carrots,” Louise Robson, who trains Prince’s Trust and Quadrille, told reporters. “It was lovely for her to see them – she only gets to see them once or twice a year.”
Katie Jerram, who looks after Barber’s Shop, said the Queen was delighted to reunite with Barber’s Shop.
“She just said how well he looked. He is as happy as Larry, isn’t he? He is a great boy. He lapped up every bit of it,” Jerram said.
Di Arbuthnot, chief executive of Retraining of Racehorses, added, “He wanted the whole basket [of carrots]. It was rather embarrassing.”