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Queen Elizabeth II began a private, five-day visit Thursday...

By BRIAN MALLOY

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Queen Elizabeth II began a private, five-day visit Thursday to horse farms in Kentucky's Bluegrass country, the British monarch's second tour of the capital of thoroughbred breeding in as many years.

The queen arrived punctually at 4:45 p.m. EDT at Blue Grass Airport aboard a Royal Air Force VC-10 after after a non-stop flight from Great Britain. the plane flew a U.S. flag and a royal standard.

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The British consul from Cleveland, Anthony Hayday, entered the plane to officially greet the queen to the United States. After the aircraft came to a stop on the tarmac west of the small terminal building.

Elizabeth, dressed in an apricot suit and straw hat, paused on the third step of the jet's ramp and waved to about 200 well-wishes gathered along an airport fence. The queen then shook hands with a dozen people, headed by Gov. Martha Layne Collins.

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At the end of the receiving line, 7-year-old Tiffany Crawford courtseyed and presented the queen with a bouquet of flowers.

'She is delighted to be back in Kentucky,' Collins told reporters. 'Last time she came it was raining and this time it was beautiful.' After the five-minute greeting, the queen entered a limousine acquired by the U.S. Secret Service and left the airport with her hosts.

The British consul from Cleveland, Anthony Hayday, entered the plane to officially welcome the queen to the United States and introduce her to a dozen dignitaries, including Gov. Martha Layne Collins.

The queen, wearing an apricot suit and straw hat, paused on the third step of the jet's ramp to wave to about 200 people gathered along an airport fence.

'She is delighted to be back in Kentucky,' Collins told reporters after the five-minute greeting. 'Last time she came it was raining and this time it was beautiful.'

Queen Elizabeth takes an active role in the management of her British stud farms and racing stable and has several broodmares in the Lexington area being serviced by top American sires.

'The queen herself is one of the world's experts,' said Andrew Burns, counselor for information at the British Embassy in Washington. 'When you are an expert, you want to come to the top places and there is no question Lexington is the top place.'

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As in her first trip to the region in October, 1984, the queen arranged to stay at William and Sarah Farish's Lane's End Farm outside Versailles. The farm has since become the home of 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck, which millionaire Farish partly owns.

The visit is the sixth by the queen to the United States since 1951, her latest being the 1984 trip to Kentucky and Sheridan, Wyoming. She has traveled outside Great Britain frequently since then, but this is her first private trip outside the country since 1984, according to Burns.

'It must be unprecedented for her to return to a place outside the country so soon,' Burns said. 'This is a bit of an unusual and special development, but it is because she had such an agreeable visit last time.'

The queen will visit a half dozen horse farms other than Lane's End, and is expected to visit each of the 'six or seven' broodmares she has at Kentucky farms, Burns said.

'I'm under the impression there are more (of the queen's horses) here now than there were then,' Burns said.

Because of the private nature of the visit, the public's only chance to see her will be her airport arrival, her airport departure Monday and when she attends services Sunday at St. John's Episcopal Church in downtown Versailles.

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Security, provided by the U.S. Secret Service and local police, will be tight during the visit, but no more so than during the 1984 trip.

'You must remember that the British and Europeans have had experience with terrorism,' said Burns. 'The philosophy is that life will go on as usual. We will take our precautions, but we will not be deterred by any threats terrorists may or may not make.'

The recent flurry of terrorism since the U.S. bombing of Libya, in which U.S. bombers based in Great Britain participated, had no influence on the trip, he said.

'There was never any question of canceling the trip,' Burns said.

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