Riders in the Royal Shetland Race at Royal Windsor Racecourse – full video can be viewed HERE

A Royal Shetland Race in honour of The Queen’s 90th birthday took place earlier today at Royal Windsor Racecourse. Six Shetland ponies charged down the Windsor straight over two and three quarter furlongs (approx. 550 metres), with all riders donning the distinctive and prestigious Royal jockey silks owned by Her Majesty The Queen. Each of the ponies werechri temporarily re-named after one of the Queen’s most successful racehorses and included the likes of a mini ‘Estimate’ whose great namesake famously won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013.

Today’s Royal race was won by Dunfermline (also known as Torro at home) and ridden by Digby Sheperd, with Aureole (ridden by Eve Bacon) in second and Pall Mall (ridden by Syd Macaulay) back in third.


Digby Sheperd, the winning rider aboard Dunfermline, said: “It was really fun, I loved every moment of the race. My horse Dunfermline is such a good boy and has won loads of races for me – I love him so much. Hopefully I might get to ride in the Royal silks in a proper race one day.”


Stuart Dorn, Executive Director of Royal Windsor Racecourse, said: “We are privileged to be the only racecourse in Britain to have Royal in the title, and were delighted we could celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday in such a way and ahead of the official celebrations later this week. Today was a wonderful and unique occasion and congratulations to Dunfermline and Digby Sheperd for winning the race.”


The Queen has been a lifelong racing fan and, in amongst the horses that she has owned and bred over the years, there have been several outstanding Royal runners. It is from these horses that the inspiration for the names of the Shetland ponies running today came. Ranging from Aureole, who finished second in the Epsom Derby the week of her Coronation, right up to The Queen’s more recent runners including Estimate who famously won 2013 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

The other royal runners in this unique race include Carlton House, the pre-Derby favourite who went on to finish third in 2011; Dunfermline, who won the Epsom Oaks and the St. Leger in 1977; Highclere who won the 1977 1000 Guineas and Pall Mall who won the 1958 2000 Guineas.


Video footage:



The video can be seen here:

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