News24

Olympic nod for Zara Phillips

2012-06-11 23:02

London - The British Equestrian Federation said on Monday that Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter Zara Phillips has been nominated as part of the UK's team for the London Olympics.

The 31-year-old won the coveted spot after a string of strong performances, particularly a strong third-place finish at Bramham last weekend.

Phillips will be following in the footsteps of her parents - Princess Anne and Capt. Mark Phillips - both of whom had competed for Britain in the Olympics.

The nomination caps a long journey for Zara Phillips. She won the World Championship in 2006, and was honoured by the queen, becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Phillips was also chosen the BBC Sport Personality of the year.

She was selected to compete for the 2008 Beijing Olympics on Toytown, an exceptional horse which was injured just before the moment of glory dawned.

In the years since, Phillips suffered a dry spell, only to come charging back on a new horse last year. Just a few months ago, she was considered a long shot for the Olympic team, but has been consistent and on an upward trajectory.

Phillips competes in three-day eventing, a gruelling sport that combines the disciplines of dressage, show jumping and cross country. Her horse is High Kingdom, a 16.2 hands high (5-foot-6-inch) bay gelding that in recent weeks has helped her turn in consistent performances, including last weekend's third place finish at Bramham.

Her mother, the Princess Royal, competed at the 1976 Montreal Games, while her father was a team gold medallist at Munich in 1972 and then won silver in Seoul 16 years later.

AP