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Kate to watch Zara Phillips after her 'amazing' Olympic debut

30 JULY 2012

Her mother and grandfather were in the stands to see an emotional Zara Phillips fulfill her longheld dream of competing in the Olympics.

Princess Anne and Prince Philip watched with delight as the 31-year-old equestrian confidently put her horse High Kingdom through his paces in the dressage event, buoyed by the cheers of the 20-000 crowd at Greenwich Park, south east London.

 

Zara Phillips

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And on Monday, the Queen's granddaughter will have more royal support when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry turn out to cheer her on in the cross-country section.

On Sunday, the first of three days of competition, which also includes showjumping, Zara finished 24th out of 74 riders.

A roar of approval erupted from the stands, which were awash with Union Jacks, as her result was announced. i

In the royal box her grandfather, wearing a panama to ward off the sunshine and an old blazer emblazoned with the logo of the International Equestrian Federation of which he was president from 1964 to 1986, beamed with pride.

She said: "It was incredible, an amazing feeling to be part of the Olympics and to ride for your country and to just be here. The crowd are amazing.

 

Princess Anne



"It was incredible to be selected, and to be at here at home for the Olympics is an amazing feeling. You try to do your best for the team."

Also on hand to give Zara a congratulatory kiss and a hug were her husband rugby ace Mike Tindall and father Captain Mark Phillips, her mother's ex, who is now coach for the US team.

Both her parents are former Olympians – Princess Anne rode in the 1976 Montreal Olympics on the Queen's horse Goodwill, while Captain Phillips was part of the team, which won gold at the 1972 Games.

 

Zara Phillips



The excitement caused by the royal contingent didn't unsettle Zara's 11-year-old gelding. "I am lucky that he doesn't get too wound up over crowds," said his owner.

Which is just as well because the arrival of William and Kate is bound to generate even more interest.

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