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Queen Elizabeth Arrives In Kentucky

May 23, 1986 GMT

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, whose horses have won 385 races and $1.5 million in prize money, is back in the Bluegrass to see if she’s raising any more winners.

Besides visiting some Kentucky horse farms, her stay will be low-key, with the only public appearances on Sunday during church services in Versailles near Lexington and when she departs Monday.

The 60-year-old queen, appearing rested despite the 8 1/2 -hour trip from London, was wearing an apricot two-piece suit and hat as she arrived Thursday at Blue Grass Airport aboard a Royal Air Force jet. She also visited Kentucky in 1984.


She was welcomed by a contingent of state, local and British Embassy officials, including Gov. Martha Layne Collins. Several women in the reception line curtsied as the queen extended her white-gloved hand during the reception on the tarmac.

The queen tipped her hat to about 200 onlookers standing and cheering behind a fence at the airport.

″She said she was delighted to be back in Kentucky,″ Collins said. ″She said the last time she was here it was raining, and this time the weather was nice.″

″I told her she brought better weather this time than she did last time,″ said Versailles Mayor Paul Noel.

Those who looked on but didn’t get to greet the queen were just happy to beable to witness her arrival.

″It was great. It was just a chance to get in touch with a part of history,″ said Grace Million of Lexington.

The queen is staying at Lane’s End Farm, owned by her friends William S. and Sarah Farish, about 10 miles west of Lexington. A small, private dinner party was given Thursday night at the Farish’s farm, officials said.

Security for the visit has been tight, with public and news media access to the queen limited to a look at horses at Lane’s End today, the church services at St. John’s Episcopal Church and departure.

During the tour of the farm today, the queen got a first look at one of her mares and its foal.

John Haslam, the queen’s assistant press secretary, also said that that she received a telephone call from President Reagan on Thursday night. He would not disclose the nature of the conversation.

The queen, who stayed at Lane’s End Farm during a visit in 1984, owns about six or seven mares in Kentucky, said Andrew Burns, counsellor of information for the British Embassy in Washington.


She is expected to visit about seven or eight farms during her visit, including Hermitage Farm in Oldham County near Louisville and Ashford Stud, North Ridge and Mill Ridge farms in the Lexington-Versailles area.

The queen owns three stud farms in Britain where she keeps 22 mares and 27 foals and yearlings in training.

They said the normal pattern is for the queen to leave a mare in the state for two years, and then bring the horse and offspring back to England.

She has owned racehorses since 1952, and her horses have won all the classic races in Britain except for the Epsom Derby.

This marks the queen’s fifth trip outside of Britain in the past 18 months, according to Burns. He said she has traveled to Nepal, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.

″She has an extremely active schedule traveling around the world,″ Burns said, adding that recent acts of terrorism has not deterred her visits.

″We have not curtailed activities and we have no intention of doing so,″ he said. ″We look forward to a most successful visit.″

Her last official visit to the United States came from Feb. 26 to March 7, 1983, when she visited the West Coast with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Previous visits were in 1976 for the Bicentennial celebrations in several cities, 1959 in Chicago, 1957 in Jamestown, Va., Washington, D.C., and New York and in 1951 as Princess Elizabeth, with Prince Philip to Washington, D.C., as guests of President Harry Truman.