Location: Born and raised near Stroud, Gloucestershire
Occupation: Full time event rider and also trains point to pointers
Zara was educated at Port Regis School in Dorset and Gordonstoun in Scotland and spent time in Australia and New Zealand after A levels.
Following a successful career in young riders, which included victory in the Under 25 Championship at Bramham and an individual silver medal in the European Young Riders Championship in 2002, the daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips really established herself at senior level in 2003 by finishing second at Burghley three day event with Toytown.
A polished display in the dressage arena and a fast and clear cross country round gave her the lead going in to the show jumping and although one fence down dropped her to second behind the Rolex Grand Slam champion Pippa Funnell, it was still a remarkable display from the then 22 year old in her first attempt at four-star level.
Following that 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.
Zara and High Kingdom at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2011
In June 2005, Zara put that disappointment behind her with a great performance at the newly upgraded four star event in Luhmuhlen. 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 has replaced Pippa Funnell on the British team for Blenheim. Showing composure beyond her years, Zara rode into the history by taking two gold medals on her senior debut, exceeding 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.
*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.
2008 Olympics – selected on Toytown
2007 European championships: Team Silver & Individual Gold on Toytown
2006 World Equestrian Games: Team Silver & Individual Gold on Toytown
2005 European championships: Team & Individual Gold on Toytown
2002 Young Rider European championships: Individual Silver on Toytown
High Kingdom in profile
Stable name: ‘Trev’
Born: 2001, Ireland
Sire: MASTER IMP
Dam: HIGH DOLLY
Dam sire: CHAIRLIFT
Owners: Gleadhill House Stud Ltd.
Current BE points: 341
View High Kingdom’s Eventing form here