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|Lt.Col. Sir John Miller, GCVO, DSO, MC|
1919 - 2006
One of the most influential figures in carriage driving and the whole equestrian world, Lt.Col. Sir John Miller, GCVO, DSO, MC, the former crown equerry to Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II, passed away at his home Shotover House, near Wheatley, Oxford on Wednesday 17th May at the age of 87.
As Crown Equerry and horse-master to the Queen for over 26 years, Sir John had the responsibility of organising the Royal Mews carriages and horses for state occasions ? such as the Queen?s Birthday Parade, State visits and no fewer than four royal weddings - and supervising the running of the Royal Mews operations at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court.
Sir John played a pivotal role in fostering the Royal Family?s passion for equestrian sports and helped HRH Prince Philip get started in four-in-hand driving, with a team of Cleveland Bay x Oldenburg horses from the Royal Mews, as a competitor in the brand new sport of combined driving or horse driving trials.
As an enthusiastic horseman and born competitor, Sir John took up four-in-hand driving himself and drove Her Majesty The Queen?s grey Oldenburg team in the first ever international driving championships in 1970 and at the inaugural international driving grand prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 1971.
Sir John represented Great Britain in the first ever European Driving Championships held in Budapest, Hungary in 1971 and won individual silver and team gold medals in the first ever World Four-in-hand Driving Championships in Munster, Germany in 1972. He was also a member, along with George Bowman of the team that won gold again for Great Britain in the 1974 World Championships at Frauenfeld in Switzerland.
His knowledge of horses and the equestrian world was unparalleled and he continued to advise Her Majesty The Queen even after his retirement and oversee the horse-breeding programme at the Royal Stud at Hampton Court.
Sir John was President of the British Driving Society and President of the Coaching Club from 1975-1982. He was also Patron of Lowther horse driving trials, Patron of the Side Saddle Association and at various times president of the National Light Horse Breeding Society; Royal Windsor Horse Show; the Horse Rangers Association; the British Show Jumping Association, and the Caspian Horse Society. As President of the Cleveland Bay Society from 1987-89 he was influential in producing pure-bred Cleveland bays at the Royal Stud, Hampton Court.Andrew Cowdery