Groomed, signed, delivered….

Breeding as Mother Nature had intended 


The breeding thoroughbreds is a chapter of its own. Contrary to all other breeds, artificial insemination is banned. Matings takes place as Mother Nature had intended which means that tens of people each year travel to the stud to have their mares covered.

The act itself only takes a few minutes “with no time for wining and dining,” tells Anne-Lise who sometimes presents the stallion up to three different mares in just one day.  To make sure each of them have conceived they meet up to three times.


“Watching a foal come into this world is something very special. It doesn’t matter who the father or the mother is. The feeling of seeing the result of our work is a great satisfaction. It’s never a routine –  and if that ever happens I’ll change jobs, ” she tells.

One of her highlights was delivering the Scandinavian champion, Theatrical Award at the Meridian Stud in Norway.

“She was such a classy horse from the moment she was out – it only took an hour and then she was up and about and drinking from her mother. She remained my favorite until we sold her at an auction.”


A royal passion


At the Royal Stud, Anne-Lise finds herself in the midst of racing history.  The stud’s most famous horse was Eclipse – born in 1764 on the day of the lunar eclipse  – and the father of 98 per cent of today’s thoroughbreds.

The current owner is Queen Elizabeth II –  one of the most passionate horse owners in the stud’s history.

Not all royals have had the same love of the sport that she already learned as a child from her father, King George V. Queen Victoria never had any horses racing in her colours but with Elizabeth II the situation is quite different.

Four days after her coronation her horse, Aureole, came close to winning the Derby. In 2011 she came even closer with Carlton House which was offered to her as a yearling by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.


When she two years later won the Ascot Gold Cup with her four year old filly, Estimate, who was trained by Sir Michael Stoute, she was the first reigning monarch ever to capture it.


As a passionate horse owner it is the Queen who decides the many different breeding combinations and the names of her newborns, tells Anne-Lise.


“Each time she comes to see her horses, I plan in which order we present them and I make sure that I’m updated with all the latest informations. How they’ve fared since the last time she visited; when they are foaling and by who’m they were covered.

But the Queen already knows everything as she is so fond of them all. I always learn something new from her. She has watched their families for generations. She can tell which ones were good or had a specific temper.”


“The Queen already knows everything as she is so fond of her horses. I always learn something new from her. She has watched their families for generations.”


For a stud groom, Anne-Lise Riis-Jensen knows that she’s in a priviledged position. To pass on her own experiences she teaches at the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ ).


“The horses are a lifestyle and a fantastic way to spend my time. Basically, it’s wonderful to be able to live from your hobby. My best advice to all the young people who dream of working with horses is to get an education and after that, make sure you get a proper salary. It is not enough to work in this business just because you’re passionate about it,” tells Anne-Lise Riis Jensen.


In front of her cottage


Anne-Lise Riis at her home in Sandringham.




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