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In the Press: Zara Phillips launches her own equestrian sports clothing range

This article below was posted yesterday on the This is Gloucestershire website, reporting from our press launch of the new ZP176 collection:

Zara Phillips has earmarked “two or three horses” to try to help her get to the London 2012 Olympics, she said today.  Despite keeping tight-lipped about the names and pedigrees of the possible rides which could give her a medal chance, Phillips, 29, said it would be “amazing” to make her Olympic debut on home soil.

Phillips was in the GB eventing line-up for the 2008 Olympics but 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.  I think that any athlete wants to be there rather than thinking about the rest of it.”

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 ZP176, is produced with the clothing brand MUSTO. Prices range from £35 to £200.There was a clear winner in her possible titles of being called an athlete, princess or model, she said. 

“Athlete is good – I think the others can just get dropped,” Phillips stated.“I am not a princess anyway so I find that quite weird to be labelled that anyway because all of this is about the job, the technical side of it and that is what is being portrayed in the range.”

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 looking 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 very unique.  He loves competition and is very good.  It is difficult to find a horse with that package.  I grew up with him and now I have much more experience, I know that riding-wise at this level you are teaching the horse so it can be very difficult to get to that level.”

The clothing range will not mark a departure through to catwalk design, Phillips said. “No, this is about my lifestyle – besides Musto do not do dresses.”

Phillips was involved from design, right through to development two years ago and testing of the products which are billed as blending ergonomic sports styling with technical fabrics. 

She hopes they will be the sort of clothes that people will feel comfortable in, not just when out riding but also going down to the supermarket.  She said: “It is hopefully going to look good enough so that it can be seen in public or by people in Waitrose or whatever.”  

The range includes a waterproof fleece-lined training jacket and a lightweight water-repellent wadded gilet.  There is also a technical fleece lined jacket, a hooded top, a zip-neck fleece and a long sleeve t-shirt made with a fabric that helps to wick away moisture.’


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