Following a successful career in young riders Eventer Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, really established herself at senior level eventing by finishing second at the Burghley three day event on Toytown in 2003.
Other wins included the Under 25 Championship at Bramham and an individual silver medal in the European Young Riders Championship in 2002
At the Burghley 3 day event, Zara Phillips gave a highly polished display in the dressage arena and a fast and clear cross country round that gave her the lead going into the show jumping.
Having one fence down dropped her to second behind the Rolex Grand Slam champion Pippa Funnell
But it was still a remarkable display from a 22 year old in her first attempt at four-star level eventing.
Following her Burghley performance, Zara was long listed for Athens in 2004
But her hopes of emulating her parents by competing with the British event team at an Olympic Games, were dashed by an injury to Toytown that ruled him out for the rest of the year.
In June 2005, Zara put the Olympics disappointment behind her with a great performance at the newly upgraded four star event in Luhmuhlen.
Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips was born on May 15, 1981, at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London.
The second child of the Princess Royal, her unusual first name came from Prince Charles … "The baby made a rather sudden and positive arrival and my brother thought Zara (a Greek name meaning ‘bright as the dawn’) was an appropriate name.", recalls Princess Anne
She finished on her dressage score to take second place with Toytown and earn selection, originally as an individual, for the European Championships at Blenheim in September.
Following the withdrawal of Primmore’s Pride, Zara replaced Pippa Funnell on the British team for Blenheim.
Showing composure beyond her years, Zara Phillips rode into history by taking two gold medals on her senior debut, exceeding the achievement of her mother, who won the individual title at the European Championships in 1971.
2006 brought the prospect of the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany – Zara’s first four star Championship.
Some disappointing show jumping performances in the spring left her confidence dented but a talk with her mentor and fellow competitor Pippa Funnell brought a welcome boost.
A good start in the dressage left Zara and Toytown in fifth position and the British team in bronze.
The cross-country test was a true Championship track and caused problems for many; but the combination showed what a special partnership they have with a clear inside the time to promote them to top spot and the team to silver.
The final show jumping phase produced a heart stopping moment when Zara did not hear the bell to start; but she kept her composure to lower just
a single rail and incur a single time penalty.
The gold was hers and silver for the British team.
In 2007 Zara entered the Burghley Horse Trials on Ardfield Magic Star.
Zara was educated at Port Regis School in Dorset and Gordonstoun in Scotland and spent time in Australia and New Zealand after A levels.
Princess Anne, European Champion in 1971, represented Britain at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, while Captain Mark Phillips, as well as winning Badminton Horse Trials four times, also won an Olympic team gold medal in Munich in 1972 and team silver in Seoul in 1988.
Zara Phillips Major Results and Achievements …
- 2nd Ligniere CIC** riding Lord Lauries
- 1st Highclere Intermediate riding Silver Lining V
- 2nd Aston-le-Walls Intermediate riding Silver Lining V
- 3rd Moreton Morrell BE100 riding Petition
- 3rd Tweseldown Intermediate riding Silver Lining V
- 24th Burghley CCI**** 2007 (Ardfield Magic Star)
- Awarded an MBE in New Year’s Honours List 2006
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2006
- Completed Pau CIC** (Tsunami II)
- Completed Boekelo CCI*** (Red Barron)
- 5th Gatcombe CIC** (Red Barron)
- Individual Gold and Team Silver World Equestrian Games, Aachen 2006 (Toytown)
- 10th Bramham CCI*** 2006 (Ardfield Magic Star)
- 15th Burnham Market CIC***W 2006 (Toytown)
- 12th Kreuth CCI*** 2006 (Ardfield Magic Star)
- 8th Necarne CIC** 2005 (Ardfield Magic Star)
- Individual and Team Gold Senior European Championships Blenheim 2005 (Toytown)
- 3rd British Intermediate Championship, Gatcombe Park 2005 (Red Baron)
- 2nd Luhmuhlen CCI**** 2005 (Toytown)
- 4th Ballindenisk CIC* 2005 (Tsunami II)
- 6th Nallindenisk CIC** 2005 (Red Baron)
- 9th Martinvast CIC** 2004 (Springleaze Macaroo)
- 7th Lumuhlen CIC*** 2004 (Springleaze Macaroo)
- 2nd Burghley CCI**** 2003 (Toytown)
- 4th Gatcombe Park Advanced 2003 (Toytown)
- 5th Luhmuhlen CCI*** 2003 (Toytown)
- 10th Chatsworth CIC*** 2003 (Toytown)