Suffolk

Newmarket honours the Queen's dedication to thoroughbreds

The Queen arriving Image copyright PA
Image caption The red carpet and Union flags were out in force in Newmarket for the Queen's arrival

The Queen's lifelong dedication to thoroughbreds has been celebrated as she unveiled a statue of herself in a town famed for its horseracing links.

The monarch also officially opened the £15m National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art during her visit to Newmarket, Suffolk.

The bronze statue at the Newmarket Racecourse entrance was a gift from the town in the year of her 90th birthday.

It shows the Queen with a mare and a foal.

The piece was created by Etienne Millner, who sculpted the Queen, and Charlie Langton, who was responsible for the animals.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The bronze statue is 120% lifesize and depicts the Queen when she was in her 50s
Image copyright The Royal Family
Image caption Her Majesty went on to officially declare the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art open

The Queen, dressed in pink, arrived in Newmarket by helicopter at 11:00 GMT.

After cutting the ribbon to unveil the statue, she was driven to the town centre, where she was greeted by schoolchildren singing the national anthem and waving Union flags.

She was shown around the grounds of the heritage centre, where horses, including two of her former racehorses Barbers Shop and Quadrille, are kept.

The Queen fed a carrot to one horse before being taken into the trainers' house where she was shown a racehorse simulator.

Peter Jensen, the heritage centre's director and chairman of the Home of Horseracing Trust, said it was a "great honour" to have the Queen officially open the venue.

"We are extremely proud of what has been created over many years and the new home for the horseracing museum," he said.

Image caption The Queen has long had a love of horses and still rides privately most weekends
Image copyright The Royal Family
Image caption During her visit, she was reunited with two of her former racehorces, Quadrille and Barbers Shop

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