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Pictures and video: Shetland pony racing at Windsor Racecourse to mark Queen’s 90th birthday

Nicola Hine

Six Shetland ponies took to the track at Royal Windsor Racecourse on Monday afternoon as part of the venue’s celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The ponies were temporarily named after some of the Queen’s most successful racehorses – including Estimate, Aureole and Carlton House – and the young jockeys were given special permission to compete in the distinctive royal silks owned by Her Majesty, who is a lifelong racing fan.

The ponies competed over two-and-three-quarter furlongs, approximately 550 metres, and the race was won by Dunfermline (also known as Torro), whose namesake was champion of the 1977 Oaks at Epsom and the same season’s St Leger.

Jockey Digby Sheperd, 13, from Damerham in Hampshire took home the trophy and said he wished the Queen a happy birthday.

Celebrations for the Queen’s birthday continue at the racecourse, in Maidenhead Road, on Monday with six races followed by live entertainment from the tribute band Beatles Revolution.

Stuart Dorn, executive director of the racecourse, said: “We are privileged to be the only racecourse in Britain to have royal in the title, and were delighted we could celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in such a way and ahead of the official celebrations later this week.

“Today was a wonderful and unique occasion and congratulations to Dunfermline and Digby Sheperd for winning the race.”

The venue has reached a milestone of its own this year – celebrating its 150th anniversary.

It is celebrating in a number of ways, including with the launch of a special beer by the Windsor and Eton Brewery.

Named ‘1866’, it uses English hops and barley from the Royal Farms at Windsor, and is available from the racecourse’s Duke Street Bar.

Will Calvert from the brewery said: “1866 is a session-strength bitter, meaning it has been brewed to be quaffable while not having a high alcohol content.

“The emphasis on this bitter is its local values, even the spent grain used in the brewing method is fed back to the beef herd on the royal farms.”

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