Our World

Update from equestrian ambassador Zara Phillips

Our equestrian ambassador Zara Phillips wrote to us with an update of what she’s been doing over the past month:

‘It’s been another busy month in competition and training, as well as the launch of my second season of ZP176 clothing for MUSTO on a beautiful summer’s day at Manor Farm in Gloucestershire.

The principles for the range are no different from the first range I worked on with MUSTO last year – which is producing clothing that is designed with riding in mind, but also functions well if you’re working in the yard, or wearing away from the riding environment.  The big difference this time around is that we’ve developed the first range of MUSTO ZP176 clothes for children.  To mark the occasion we had a mini gymkhana with the girls from the Autumn/Winter 2011 catalogue shoot.

Obviously there are a whole set of new challenges to face when you’re designing a range for children.  For me, the important thing was that we kept the standards of materials and design as high as we do in the adult range.  There’s bright range of colours in the collection and it’s really enjoyable to watch the kids mucking around in it and having a great time.  They love being outdoors, they love riding – it’s just what the clothes are designed for.’

‘Then there’s the daily grind as well.  It’s a very busy time, with competitions coming thick and fast.  You tend to do a lot of travelling at this point in the season; because you’re competing in three-day events you’re often away for week-long blocks.

All the horses are fit and well and we’ve made steady progress throughout the season.  High Kingdom’s been performing well.  He was second at Aston-Le-Walls in Northamptonshire and before that he competed at Barbury International in Wiltshire.  He competed in the dressage and the show jumping at Gatcombe, I’m not sure if he’ll have another run before Burghley now.

High Kingdom’s strength is cross-country, so I’ve been happy to save his legs by not running him too much and working on the other disciplines to try and make them as strong as his cross country.

We had a gut feeling that Lord Lauries would benefit from a bit more competition by comparison, so he competed at Aston-Le-Walls, the Glanusk International in Monmouthshire and Salperton Park in Gloucestershire before that.

Obviously it’s really important that you get to know each one really well, get to understand what makes them tick.  You have to accept that a special relationship with a horse like Toytown only comes once in a lifetime, but it doesn’t stop you from working as hard as you can to realise the potential of all your horses.  It’s just a case of time and working with them in a variety of different environments.

It was an emotional moment at Gatcombe recently when Toytown was officially retired from competition.  Naturally the first thing people point to is the success we had at the European Eventing Championship in 2005 and the World Equestrian Games in 2006, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Looking forward, one of our goals is to do well at Burghley and then at Blenheim with the 8 and 9 year olds.  Then Lord Lauries will go to Boekelo in early October.  It’s all go!’


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