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Dreams of a medal after Zara triumphs on her wedding anniversary

July 31, 2012
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With the third and final day of the Olympics equestrian compeitition under way,  Zara Phillips is still chasing the dream that eluded her mother. In 1976, the Princess Royal, then just Princess Anne, missed out on a podium position after riding for her country in the Montreal Games. But now, her 31 year-old daughter could ease those memories by winning a medal after the 2012 British team put in a solid performance during Tuesday's decisive showjumping round. 


Zara's teammate Mary King put in a flawless perfomance to position the British riders in second place. When the Queen's granddaughter was on the course, she clipped a fence and incurred a time fault, meaning she went over the allocated 83 seconds. "I just had to get on with it [after the second fence went down]. Unfortunately that happens," she said.

The royal rider was trying to capitalise on her blistering performance in Monday's cross country event.  


On July 30, the anniversary of her nuptials to Mike Tindall, Zara powered round the course in an impressive nine minutes and 55 seconds within the allocated ten minutes. With chants of "Zara" ringing through the air, and the young royals taking pride of place amongst Greenwich Park's 50,000-strong crowd, she managed a clear round. Only four other riders out of 74 were able to equal that feat. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were particularly animated as they watched his cousin dominate the course. Afterwards the Queen's granddaughter said: "I am so pleased. It was hard work but a great feeling. The crowd was unbelievable and the best thing is that it is my wedding anniversary today."

Her teammates performed equally well, placing the Britons in second place behind Germany as a memorable day drew to a close. Now, only the final show jumping phase is left to overcome. If the eventing squad continue their brilliant run of form, they could gallop to gold for their collective efforts.

Guide to Olympics equestrian competition 

Zara and her teammates are flying the flag for Britain in eventing – an equestrian discipline that combines dressage, cross country and show jumping.

On the third and final day of the competition, scores from all three activities are collated and medals are awarded.

On day one, competitors took part in a dressage test. Dressage is the French term for 'training' in which riders score points based on their ability to guide the horse through a series of graceful movements.

Next, came the cross country event, where riders had to complete a tough 5.7km course within an allocated time limit.

Jumping mistakes or exceeding the time limit results in penalty points being added to the previous day's dressage score.

Finally, the event concludes with showjumping where riders must clear the course against the clock and without knocking down any fences.

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