Several equine organisations in Britain including the Fell and Highland pony societies and the Cleveland Bay Horse Society are to benefit from a £1.2 million donation of proceeds from The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration.
The mega equine celebration took place in Home Park Private, Windsor Castle, in May 2016 with more than 900 horses and 1500 participants from around the world. Stars from stage and screen also participated in the four-night event which was attended by members of the Royal Family each night, with the final night being watched by Queen Elizabeth II. The display showcased the remarkable life of The Queen, from her birth in 1926, through World War Two, to Her Coronation in 1953 and a reign spanning more than 60 years. It was watched by more than 7 million people on ITV.
Some £1.2 million was raised through ticket sales and contributions from businesses and organisations, and the surplus will be split between 10 charities, which reflect many of the The Queen’s interests.
The smallest equine charities are some of the beneficiaries, including The Welsh Pony and Cob Society, The Cleveland Bay Horse Society, The Fell Pony Society and The Highland Pony Society. The Queen is patron to each of these charities which work to regulate, promote and protect these valuable British breeds. The British Horse Society, The Animal Health Trust and World Horse Welfare are also equine beneficiaries.
In support of the British Armed Forces, SSAFA and The Royal British Legion are also amongst those supported. Both charities provide lifelong support for the Armed Forces community; serving men and women, veterans, and their families.
Fittingly, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, a charitable foundation with a mission to leave a lasting legacy for the Commonwealth, is the final organisation to benefit from the 90th Birthday Celebration, where musicians, riders and dancers from around the Commonwealth take part.
Sir Mike Rake, Chairman of the Event Committee and BT’s Chairman, said: “It is quite incredible that a one-off event should not only give pleasure to millions of people but also raise this significant surplus. To everybody who took part, financially supported the event, including many British businesses, and those who organised this enormously complex project, we can all feel proud of our achievement and legacy.
“The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration will have long lasting benefit. Already the selected charities are telling us what they intend to do with the donation. For some it will mean a much needed office or land to enable endangered breeds to be supported. For others it will mean helping people and their ambitions.
“This is not the end. We expect a further surplus to be given following the finalisation of the accounts.”
The nominated charities are:
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust SSAFA
The Royal British Legion
The Animal Health Trust
The British Horse Society
World Horse Welfare
The Highland Pony Society
The Fell Pony Society
The Welsh Pony and Cob Society
The Cleveland Bay Society