This Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II had some sad news to deal with. Her beloved horse Space Walk suffered a fatal injury following a race at Newbury Racecourse.

Space Walk, who was just four, participated in the race this weekend. According to Hello, the horse collapsed after running in a "competitive handicap race." Trained by William Haggas, Jockey Tom Marquand rode the bay gelding that pulled short suddenly with three furlongs to go in the race.

As the vets rushed to tend to the horse, he quickly crumpled to the ground. As per the report, to minimise its distress, Space Walk had to be destroyed after the race. Royal Central notes that the horse has given the queen lots of wins over the years. He was reportedly a favourite in the race with odds of 11/4.

This is not the first time the queen will have to deal with distressing news of the demise of her horse. Back in 2016, another beloved horse Guy Fawkes succumbed to injury that he suffered at the Royal Ascot.

The 94-year-old queen's love for horses is well renowned. She has been interested in the sport since she was a child. As per the report, the queen received her first riding lesson when she was just three. She was gifted a Shetland mare by her grandfather King George V on her fourth birthday. Her passion for sport earned her International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is a life-long lover of horses who has inspired millions around the world," FEI President Princess Haya of Jordan said as quoted. "She is a true horsewoman, who still rides whenever state business allows, and her knowledge of breeding and bloodlines is incredible."

Queen Elizabeth II
Justin Tallis/ AFP

After becoming an accomplished rider by 18, the sport remains the queen's favourite leisure time to date. Apart from horse riding and racing, the queen takes immense interest in the breeding of her horses. She makes regular visits to keep a check on her animals and is the patron of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.