Like mother (and father), like daughter. Zara Phillips, 31, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, has nabbed a spot on the five-person British equestrian team reports The Independent. Her mum, Princess Anne, competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Dad, Captain Mark Phillips, who is now a head coach for the US team, brought home a gold medal from Munich in 1972 and won the silver at Seoul in 1988.
"It's awesome to be given this opportunity," Phillips said in a statement. "I am really excited and can't wait to kick on and get him there. Hopefully, we will make it this time." She was chosen in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics but had to drop out when her horse, Toytown, was injured. She and Toytown also had to withdraw from the 2004 games in Athens. On May 23, 2012, Phillips brought him out of retirement when she carried the Olympic torch as part if a five-day relay.
Phillips participates in a rigorous three-day contest called "eventing," which requires endurance for running cross-country courses, agility for jumping, and precise balletic movements. Rider and horse must be perfectly in tune. Her new mount, High Kingdom, is a young chestnut gelding. "High Kingdom is a pretty cool, very relaxed kind of guy," says Phillips.
Phillips, who was once dubbed the "royal rebel" by the British tabloids for her night clubbing and pierced
tongue, is as comfortable hob-nobbing with her titled clan as she is mucking out a stable. Her 2011 wedding to rugby star Mike Tindall was attended by members of the royal family--including Prince William and Kate Middleton. Although the couple wanted it to be a low-key affair, the July nuptials reignited some of the excitement of Will and Kate's April ceremony and the streets of Edinburgh were thronged with thousands of well-wishers craning to glimpse the bride's ivory silk gown.
Only a few months ago, Phillips was considered a long shot to make the team, but the woman who is 16th in line for the throne defied critics by consistently upping her game. "She's renowned for being quick," Lucy Higginson, the editor of the equestrian publication, Horse and Hound told Associated Press. "She can handle pressure."
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