Jeroen Dubbeldam, reigning World and European Champion, from Nederland, headed the list of competitors, while fellow Olympic individual gold medallist Rodrigo Pessoa (Brazil) challenged Peter Charles (Great Britain), Beezie Madden (USA) and Laura Kraut (USA), all part of Olympic teams. Kent Farrington (USA) is currently ranked number six in the world and will be representing a strong USA presence, including three of the top 30 riders in the world.
Roberts was asked to be in the pageant at the Royal Windsor Horse Show to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90 birthday. Roberts and his wife Pat stayed at Windsor as guests of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Monty Roberts advises Her Majesty with phone calls and frequent trips to Polhampton and Sandringham where he works with Her Majesty’s Thoroughbred horses. Monty’s success, he states, is from the Queen’s endorsement.
“She was the only reason I was able to go global,” he says. “If it wasn’t for her, I’d still be ploughing around in central California, trying to get cowboys to agree that being rough with horses doesn’t make sense.”
Years before The Horse Whisperer movie was made, the Queen had read about him in horse magazines, and sent the Crown Equerry, Sir John Miller, to investigate.“He came utterly skeptical, but in the end, he said, ‘Her Majesty is going to want to see this’” Roberts recalls. “I was invited to Windsor in April 1989. The Queen provided me with several young horses of her own and a training pen was set up at Windsor. I had saddles and bridles on them all in five days,” says Roberts. “She put me on the road in her car and away I went to 21 cities. I did 98 horses on the trip, all the while reporting back to her. She gave me another life. She wouldn’t agree with it, but it’s true – she’s so understated,” he says.
It was the Queen who encouraged Roberts to write a best-selling autobiography in the early 1990s.
“I never depart from calling her ‘Your Majesty’, but I see this real side to her that is just overwhelming. Once when called in on short notice I mentioned I was in work clothes. She said to me, ‘I don’t give two hoots what you wear.’ How many people know that the Queen would say that?”
“I can’t emphasize enough the Queen’s ability as a student,” says Roberts. “She doesn’t forget anything and she is intensely interested. She has given me the opportunity to teach my concepts all over the world and opened many doors for improving the lives of animals. For this I call her an ‘Influence for Good’ and I believe she is the leading monarch in the world for advocating a better life for animals.”
This story, while remarkable, is merely representative of an ever increasing body of work as Monty Roberts continues to be an agent of change throughout the world. This mission was very much influenced by Her Majesty as she encouraged Monty on to bring this ever important message of nonviolence to the global community.