The Queen tragically lost five of her beloved ponies, according to reports.
The monarch, 94, is a lifelong equestrian and animal lover and five of her Highland ponies reportedly died of a devastating disease.
They passed away from equine grass disease at Balmoral Estate, Scotland.
What happened to The Queen’s ponies?
This illness attacks the nervous system and can paralyse the gut.
Stud manager Sylvia Ormiston, 55, said the ponies died one by one over a two-year period.
Two of the ponies were stallions intended to help increase the herd.
Speaking to the British Horse Society magazine, she said: “There is so much we need to know.
“We don’t even really know how many equines die of EGS each year because testing doesn’t always happen.
“Here at Balmoral we are prepared to help in any way we can to make progress towards a cure for this dreadful disease.”
Sylvia went on to say that the stables at Balmoral are working closely with Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh to help find a cure.
The Queen set up the Highland pony stud on her Balmoral Estate in 2017.
Sylvia added that the monarch is heavily involved in the herd, and is regularly consulted over key decisions.
The Queen has owned many horses and ponies through the years
Her Majesty is an avid equestrian and has ridden ponies and horses since a small child.
She was even photographed riding her horse at Windsor Castle during lockdown.
She is also a huge lover of horse racing, and annually enters royal horses into races.
To date her horses have won over 1,600 races.
Meanwhile, in an issue of Horse & Hound this year, head groom Terry Pendry spoke of her passion.
He told Horse & Hound magazine: “She is a fountain of knowledge in all things equine, you might say a living encyclopaedia.”
Adding, that she has tremendous patience and knowledge of race horses.
Terry continued: “These incredibly highly charged creatures, full of blood and muscle, are developed from birth with kid gloves and the sophisticated jigsaw of trying to put all the pieces together is a constant challenge that continues to intrigue The Queen.”
However, in recent years, The Queen reportedly only rides ponies.
As they are closer to the ground, there is less risk of serious injury if an accident should occur.
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