In the Press: Phillips has horses in mind to help her reach Olympics
‘Zara Phillips has spoken of her quest for Olympic success in London and says she has earmarked “two or three horses” to try to help her get to the Games.
Despite keeping tight-lipped about the names and pedigrees of the possible rides, Phillips, 29, said it would be “amazing” to make her Olympic debut on home soil.
Phillips, who lives in Gloucestershire with her fiancé, England rugby star Mike Tindall, was in the GB eventing line-up for the 2008 Olympics.
But she had to withdraw after her horse Toytown, with whom she won the European and world titles in 2005 and 2006, became injured. “It is about two or three horses,” she said. “Toytown was one of the best horses in the world but you cannot stop injuries from happening – to have two or three horses without injuries that would do, to have those as a back-up plan.
“There have been a lot of people (possible Olympic medallists) who have been in the running and had to pull out because of having a horse injured and hopefully I will get there.”
Phillips also sidestepped the controversy surrounding the staging of the equestrian events in Greenwich, south-east London, instead of a more established traditional venue, saying: “To be honest I do not mind as long as I am there competing.”
Phillips, the daughter of the Princess Royal and Gatcombe Park’s Captain Mark Phillips, was speaking as she launched her range of equestrian sports clothes in London.
The collection, bearing her initials and the number stating the fact that she is the 176th person to represent Britain in eventing in the logo ZP 176, is produced with the clothing brand MUSTO. Prices range from £35 to £200.
Phillips, still on the look-out for an elite horse, said she “wells up” every time she thinks of the injury-plagued Toytown who may be nearing retirement. She has ruled out defending her World Equestrian Games title with Toytown at Lexington, Kentucky, in October.
She said: “I think that everyone went out when we heard that London got the Olympics and went trying to find something that would be the right age and experience for 2012.
“I have been looking. I have had my horse of a lifetime. I was very young and had fantastic results and the horses I have had since then have been in a massive shadow.
“I am very lucky in that Toytown has been unique. He loves competition and is very good.
“I grew up with him and now I have much more experience, I know riding-wise at this level you are teaching the horse so it can be very difficult to get to that level.”‘
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