Queen's granddaughter picked for London 2012 by Team GB
Monday, 11 June 2012
June 11 - The Queen's granddaugther Zara Phillips has been selected to represent Britain's eventing team at the London 2012 Olympics, it was revealed tonight.
Phillips, the 2006 world champion, is following in the footsteps of her parents, who both rode in the Olympics for Britain.
Her mother, the Princess Royal, competed at the 1976 Montreal Games, while her father Captain Mark Phillips was a team gold medallist at Munich in 1972 and then won silver in Seoul 16 years later.
The 31-year-old Phillips is married to Mike Tindall, a member of the England team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
Phillips will ride High Kingdom at Greenwich Park after hopes of an Olympic place in 2004 and 2008 were dashed by injuries to her world title-winning horse Toytown.
Phillips been chosen alongside William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Piggy French and Tina Cook.
The team is due to be officially announced tomorrow.
Equestrian is one of Britain's strongest Olympic disciplines with of total of 27 medals since they made their debut in the sport at Stockholm 1912.
That includes six gold, the most recent at Athens in 2004 when Leslie Law won the individual eventing title.
Phillips clinched her spot at London with a third-placed finish in yesterday's Bramham International CIC three-star class after posting a personal best dressage score, and then jumping clear in the showjumping and cross-country phases.
"It's awesome to be given this opportunity," said Phillips, who was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year after winning the world title six years ago.
"I am really excited and can't wait to kick on and get him there.
"Hopefully, we will make it this time."
Phillips recently carried the Olympic Torch at Cheltenham Racecourse on Toytown, who is now retired.
"High Kingdom is a pretty cool, very relaxed kind of guy," said Phillips.
"I was really happy with him at Bramham as he had obviously grown up and is improving all the time.
"He's pretty pony-like, a nippy little jumper and easy to manoeuvre, so hopefully it will suit him well in Greenwich.
"High Kingdom is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who has been one of my earliest supporters.
"He has owned a lot of my horses and has been so supportive, I couldn't do it without him."
June 2011: Zara Phillips signs as Samsung UK Olympic Games ambassador
July 2010: Phillips admits she needs to find horse to fulfil London 2012 dream
July 2009: Land Rover launch advert starring Zara Phillips
March 2009: Zara Phillips hits out at Greenwich Park as Olympic venue
May 2007: Phillips reveals 2012 goal