StampNews.com is excited to let our readers know that Royal Mail is celebrating eight legendary racehorses whose achievements have made them household names with a special stamp issue. The eight stamps were illustrated by renowned equestrian artist Michael Heslop and feature Frankel, Red Rum, Shergar, Kauto Star, Desert Orchid, Brigadier Gerard, Arkle and Estimate.
The sport of Horseracing is thought to have been brought to Britain in the first century AD during the Roman occupation when soldiers used to organise races on horseback as a means of entertainment. Kings and queens were amongst those who enthused about horse racing including Charles I who introduced the first-ever Cup Race, known as the GoldCup, and also Queen Anne whose passion for the sport led to the founding of Ascot Racecourse.
Traditionally, horses were ridden over a specific distance on flat ground only but during the 18th century the racing of horses involving the jumping of fences and hurdles was introduced, an activity that was to become known in the UK as National Hunt.
The eight stamps that comprise the set feature horses which have all in their own unique way created a piece of history in British horse racing. These include the legendary Red Rum who won the Grand National on three occasions and the indomitable Frankel who remained unbeaten in his 14-race career. Whilst not all of the horses featured were born and reared in Britain, such is the global nature of the modern ‘Sport of Kings’, they have all achieved greatness by winning one or more of the UK’s most prestigious races.