The late Queen’s favourite riding pony Emma, who made a poignant appearance at her funeral, has been named the Horse of a Lifetime in a public vote.
The Fell Pony – whose full name is Carltonlima Emma – received a bag of carrots for winning the accolade after thousands of readers backed her in the Horse & Hound annual awards.
Lizzie Briant, who accepted the prize and the carrots at a gala dinner at Cheltenham racecourse on behalf of the Queen’s stud groom Terry Pendry, said Emma was the country’s most loved pony.
Ms Briant competed on Emma in showing classes for the Queen after Emma was bought by Mr Pendry as a young pony.
“Emma has the most wonderful temperament and never puts a foot wrong,” Ms Briant said.
“It was thrilling when I realised she was going to Windsor to be ridden by the Queen. Everybody adores her at the Royal Mews — there isn’t a pony in the country that is better loved.”
Mr Pendry, who stood with Emma in the Castle grounds as her mistress’s coffin made its way up the Long Walk at Windsor, said of learning of the award: “Her Majesty adored Emma.
“She is a comfortable ride and sure-footed. Emma always enjoyed a carrot out of a brown paper bag after riding.”
On the day of the monarch’s funeral in September, the Queen’s sheepskin saddle cover and her silk headscarf which she wore when riding were laid over the saddle for the last time.
Emma took part in three pageants at the Royal Windsor Horse Show over the years including for the Queen’s 90th birthday and her Platinum Jubilee.
Vicki Wentworth, chief executive of pet and equine insurance firm Agria UK who sponsored the award, said: “The Queen was without doubt Britain’s favourite horsewoman.
“By continuing to ride well into her 90s, on a pony in her 20s, she illustrated what an amazing sport for life riding can be and what long, happy and active lives horses and ponies can enjoy.”