03/14/2012

Zara Phillips watches ex-boyfriend take horrifying fall

Horse fall

Richard Johnson on Wishfull Thinking falls during the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase on day two of the 2012 Cheltenham Fesitval on Wednesday. (AP)

Zara2What started out as a pleasant day of both royals and commoners enjoying the sport of kings turned into a horror show at England's famous Cheltenham Festival.

In the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase on Wednesday, the favourite -- Wishfull Thinking, ridden by Richard Johnson -- fell after jumping a fence and crashed into fence near a group of photographers.

Two of the witnesses to Zara1the crash were Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter -- Johnson's former live-in lover.

Both were caught with horrified looks on their faces as the crash unfolded. It may have been especially upsetting for Zara, who was a former girlfriend of Johnson's dating back to her late teens. The two had a stormy, five-year relationship that ended in 2003.

Shortly after moving out of his multi-million dollar home, Zara began dating rugby star Mike Tindall, eventually marrying last July in Edinburgh.

In Wednesday's crash, both horse and rider were lucky. Johnson sufffered only some bruising to his thigh and expects to be back racing
Zaraon Thursday. The horse reportedly escaped uninjured.

Finian's Rainbow, a 4-1 shot, won the two-mile race.
Horsefall1
Richard Johnson on Wishfull Thinking crash into the barrier after falling during the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase on Wednesday. (AP)

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