On February 17, 2012, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall attended the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Surry. During her visit the Duchess met with the Military Wives Choir. According to the Press Association the Duchess of Cornwall:
…heard the wives sing their number one hit, Wherever You Are, and met the group and service families during the tour in Esher, Surrey.
She was also introduced to War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and Topthorn – one of the puppets from the stage show – which playfully stole the writer’s red beret.
The Duchess then watched several races, including the Royal Artillery Gold Cup, from the Royal Box and presented trophies.
The cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the racing calendar, having existed for nearly 150 years.
The inaugural event was in 1862 in Eltham. The race moved to Sandown for the first time in 1878 and has been run there every season since 1921.
The race is restricted to horses that are owned or have been leased by those who are serving, or have served, in the Royal Artillery or one of its recognised establishments or units.
The jockeys must be amateurs and they must also be past or present members of any of the Armed Services.
Sources: Press Association and Royal.gov.uk