King Charles is selling 12 of Queen Elizabeth’s racehorses.
The 73-year-old monarch inherited his mother’s stable after she died last month but he is planning to cut her racing operation and will be getting rid of almost a third of the 37 equines she has had in races this year at Newmarket’s Tattersalls auction later this month.
Charles is planning more sales in the future, but amongst the first he will be getting rid of is Just Fine, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute and was the first of the new king’s winners late last month, and Love Affairs, the queen’s last winner just two days before her death.
An insider said of Charles’ sale plans: “The connection between the family and the horse racing industry will continue.
“The desire is to continue with the traditions and connections with Royal Ascot but not on the same scale as Her Majesty because she had a passion.”
A source close to the Royal Sandringham stud in Norfolk – which has 60 racehorses and 38 brood mares – said there is talk of “winding down” the breeding operation over three years until it is no longer a commercial endeavour.
The source told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “The Royal stud could be a museum in three years. It would be a real shame.’”
There are 30 foals expected to be born in the new year and they will fetch high prices as the last bred by the queen.
According to the source, some horses have already been sold as part of the “natural churn”, with the monarch typically selling around seven horses a year.
Last year saw the queen’s most successful ever in the sport, earning £590,000 prize money from 36 winners.
The queen – who subsidised the running costs of her horse hobby from her private purse as it wasn’t always profitable – also kept around 30 show horses.
Earlier this month, she posthumously won a top prize at the Horse of the Year show for her retrained racehorse First Receiver.
Originally published at www.femalefirst.co.uk