My husband gave me a bad time last week for looking at pictures and reading articles about the royal wedding. I told him I have a special interest in the affairs of the British monarchy. HM Queen Elizabeth II has been a long-time and generous supporter of the Fell Pony Society. Today, though, I really felt vindicated when a picture was published with the Queen’s blessing. It shows the Queen as grandmother out riding with her grandchildren the day after Easter. She was mounted on a Fell Pony.
An article in the Daily Mail also included a picture of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, driving the Queen’s four-in-hand of Fells through the grounds of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. (1) Five Fell Ponies in one newspaper article has to be something of a record! Unfortunately, the breed of pony wasn’t once mentioned. The emphasis of the article, though, was about a grandmother sharing her love of ponies with her grandchildren.
Several years ago I was equally taken with a picture of the Queen out riding. She was recovering from knee surgery and had chosen a Fell Pony instead of her usual taller and more hot-blooded thoroughbred. More recently I was taken with video footage on a DVD produced by the Fell Pony Society of Prince Philip driving the Queen’s four-in-hand of Fells on an obstacle course. The Queen has been an avid horsewoman all her life, and that she has chosen to own and breed Fell Ponies is a wonderful tribute to the breed.
Like the Queen, my husband likes to share ponies with his grandchildren. The picture above shows him introducing Axell to Willowtrail Wild Rose in 2007. Since then Axell has done something his grandfather has done but his own father hasn’t: ridden a pony!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011