It’s not a secret that Queen Elizabeth II has loved horses her entire life. In fact, she has been recognized as a top breeder of livestock in the United Kingdom, and has received numerous awards for her impact in the equestrian world.

While the Queen has owned many horses through the years, the most beloved, and iconic, is Burmese, a beautiful black mare that was born in 1962 and bred to be part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). After achieving notable accomplishments in her early years, such as being the lead horse for RCMP’s popular Musical Ride, Burmese was gifted to the Queen in 1969.

From the day that Queen Elizabeth II received her, the pair was inseparable. Burmese was not only ridden in ceremonies, but she was also ridden recreationally by the Queen during her visits to the country. No matter the occasion, it was said to be an amazing sight to see the Queen riding her stunning horse.

After years and years of carrying the Queen, Burmese was retired from all riding in 1987. The beautiful mare was turned out to pasture at Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth came to see her often. Burmese continued living at the castle until her death in 1990. She was 28 when she passed.

The Queen wanted to carry on the legacy of Burmese, and she did just that when she commissioned the above bronze statue, a testament to a once in a lifetime horse.

While Burmese can never be replaced, her memory, and influence, will continue to live on.