A family affair: twelfth in line for the throne, the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, has royal blood of the Windsor sort running through her veins but also equestrian royal blood. Her mother, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, was an Olympic eventer in her right having been a member of the 1976 British Olympic eventing team in Montreal. She in turn inherited her obsession with horses from her mother, the Queen herself. Zara’s father, Captain Mark Phillips, is a five-time Olympian winning team gold in 1972, and a silver in 1988, the current Chef-d’equipe for the British eventing team and he’s often referred to as the “British George Morris”.

Her accompishments including winning the 2005 European Eventing Championship, the 2006 World Eventing Championship in Aachen, being voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year, becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 for her services to equestrianism and now… being selected as a member of the 2012 London eventing equestrian team. It will be her Olympic debut, as she missed out on the 2008 Beijing Games when her horse, Toytown, was injured before competition.

Zara’s current mount is ten-year-old, High Kingdom (a rather fitting name for carrying a royal across country), a horse she has brought up the ranks from novice level. “We’ve grown up together, we went through the levels together, and it all just seemed to go our way. His movement, his character, it all combined to make the complete horse he is today. And cross-country- he’s just a machine. I was honored to carry the Olympic torch and I’m honored to be representing my country and her majesty- my granny!, later this summer.” ZP