Queen's granddaughter Zara earns Olympics spot

Zara Phillips
Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, rides High Kingdom during cross country event at the  Bramham International Horse Trials at Wetherby, England, on Sunday. (AP)

The Olympic tradition continues for at least one arm of the Royal Family.

Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth's first granddaughter, is on her way to the Olympics after years of frustrating setbacks in her sport of equestrian.

In a family of equestrians, Zara follows in the footsteps of both her mother Anne -- who competed at the 1976 Olympics -- and father Mark, a team gold medallist at Munich in 1972 and a silver medallist at the 1988 Games in Seoul.

Zara, 31,  will be riding High Kingdom for the three-day eventing at the Games (July 27-Aug. 12), which combines the disciplines of dressage, show jumping and cross country.

This is a comeback story for Phillips, who won the world eventing championship in 2006, but was forced to bow out of the 2008 Olympics when her horse Toytown was injured. Results have been spotty since, and her prized Toytown was retired last year.

She was given only an outside chance at an Olympic spot for 2012, but has been posting consistent results over the last several months. She sealed the nomination with a strong third place showing at the Bramham Horse Trials on the weekend.

“It’s awesome to be given this opportunity, I’m really excited and can’t wait to kick on and get him there -- hopefully we will make it this time after you know what happened last...," Phillips said in a statement from the British Equestrian Federation as they announced five riders to the team.

Zara church"High Kingdom is a pretty cool, very relaxed kind of guy, I was really happy with him at Bramham as he’d obviously grown up and is improving all the time," she added.

Zara is not a working member of the royal family and has no title, but she has been given a fairly high profile over the past few years. That was heightened last summer when she married English rugby star Mike Tindall.

The pair attend most of the major royal events, including last week's service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral (right).

Princess Anne 1976
Princess Anne, Zara's mother, competes in the dressage, part of the three-day eventing at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. She finished 24th in the individual competition.



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its not a sport get it out of the olympics, if the riders were running around jumping stuff maybe then it would be but until then its just a hobby for the ultra riche.
Maybe dog agility should be added and hamster tightrope walking

her opportunity was bought and paid for by her grandmother ...unlike the other skilled athletes who earned a spot on the team ...

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