Moon (World 53)
Elizabeth Moon (1945 – ; first SF publication, 1986) writes (among her other stories) entertaining space opera. But first, some of those other stories: they include Remnant Population, about Ofelia Falfurrias, a grandmother who single-handedly challenges an encroaching Corp for possession of a planet on behalf of its aboriginal population, and The Speed of Dark, about Lou Arrendale, a high-functioning biological software specialist who resists efforts to “cure” his autism. (The subject here is science fiction stories, not fantasy, but I’ve got to add that I first encountered Moon’s stories with The Deed of Paksenarrion, the absolute best depiction of a paladin that I have ever read.)
Back to the space opera. Both the Familias Regnant and Vatta’s War series involve privilege and responsibility, with highly competent female leads from the ruling families of their respective universes. Key differences are that Heris Serrano and Esmay Suiza (Familias Regnant) are military officers fighting against a largely internal foe, while Kylara Vatta is primarily focused on keeping her family’s corporation alive in the face of external aggression. Both, however, are definitely entertaining.
Rank does have its perks, and thoroughbred horses have the same appeal among the Familias Regnant as they do to many today — there are even mechanical horses on board interstellar ships to help you stay in shape for riding. Since transporting mature animals on a ship can be challenging, it is common practice to transport embryos, instead, when delivering livestock to a new world. Racehorse embryos are among the most valuable of these cargos.