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Mike Tindall: 'I'm a hands-on-dad while Zara spends time with the horses'

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Mike Tindall has spoken about family life at home with his wife Zara Phillips and their daughter Mia, revealing that he is a "hands-on dad" to the couple's 20-month-old daughter. The 36-year-old Rugby Union star shared with The Times that he enjoys spending the weekend with his little tot while Zara spends time with the horses. "You've got to be a hands-on dad nowadays," he said. "Plus Zara spends a lot of time with the horses, so I don't have much choice in that sense."

mike1 © Photo: Getty Images

The former sportsman also admitted that despite his high-profile career on the field, Mia is none the wiser as to what her dad used to do, saying he will have to "wheel out the videos" of himself in action to show her.

He also spoke of his Olympic-winning equestrian wife, the Queen's eldest granddaughter, and her hopes to compete in the Rio Olympics next year with her horse High Kingdom. "That's the next big thing for her," he said. Mike revealed that the plan is for her and her steed to qualify and then he'll "wrap them both up in cotton wool" to avoid injuries.

mike © Photo: Getty Images

Sport has always been a huge part of Mike and Zara’s lives – while Zara is an award-winning show jumper who has won an Olympic silver medal during the London 2012 Games, Mike enjoyed an 18-year rugby career which saw him win 75 England caps and a 2003 World Cup medal. He announced his retirement from the sport in July 2014.

mike tindall1 © Photo: Getty Images

Zara recently spoke about their hopes to pass their love of sport on to Mia. "We have always had sport in our lives and through our childhood," she said. "I think that really is important in every child's life to have that opportunity. I think we have got it off our parents and hopefully we can pass that on to Mia," she said at a charity sailing race last month.