Here's Who Queen Elizabeth's Beloved Racehorses Now Belong To

The death of Queen Elizabeth II is heartbreaking on many levels. The world has lost a distinguished leader, while her family has had to say goodbye to a dearly loved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her staff members have lost an employer whose preferences they knew intimately, from her morning tea to the brooches she chose carefully for each outfit. 

The queen also leaves behind the animals she loved so dearly. Her fondness for her dogs was well known, and she and her sister Princess Margaret also accidentally created a new hybrid breed when the princess's dachshund mated with one of the queen's corgis. The result: a unique pup known as a dorgi (via People). Fittingly, the queen's two dogs were at her bedside during her final days (via ET), and Sandy and Muick also stood guard at Windsor on the day of the funeral. 

Her horses were her other passion. She was in the saddle from the time she was 3 years old, per Insider, and received her first pony the following year. Over her 96 year lifetime, it's thought that the queen owned more than 100 horses. Among them was her favorite Fell pony, Emma, whom she rode regularly despite doctors' recommendations to take it easy. The pony also wore a sentimental item to the queen's funeral: one of the queen's signature headscarves.

As of publication, the palace hadn't announced who would be taking over Emma's care, but a very prominent royal will be claiming some of the queen's other proud mounts.

The queen's racehorses will go to the new king

To look at her, you might not know that Queen Elizabeth was a racehorse fan. But the sport was one of her particular passions, and she was an enthusiastic spectator at the Royal Ascot, Epsom Downs, and other important races. According to the Kentucky Courier Journal, the queen attended the Kentucky Derby five times in her lifetime. She also owned champion racehorses, entering them in more than 3,500 races and winning 566 of them, per Metro

Naturally, the monarch wanted to make sure her beloved mounts would be in good hands when she died. Town & Country reports that the queen's racehorses are now in the care of King Charles III. The royal jockeys will continue to wear the queen's distinctive silks: a purple jacket with scarlet sleeves. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) released a statement on the transfer of (horse)power: "The loss of Her late Majesty was keenly felt within the racing and breeding industries given her lifelong passion for the sport, and so we are naturally thrilled to see that the horses previously owned by her will race on in the ownership of His Majesty King Charles III."

One of the royal racehorses, named Educator, will be racing for the first time in the king's reign on September 29. The BHA chair added, "We wish Educator and King Charles III the very best of luck ...and keenly look forward to further successes in those famous royal silks on British racecourses."