PreviousNext

London 2012 Olympics: Zara Phillips pleased with Olympic debut

By // Sports | London 2012 Olympics: Zara Phillips pleased with Olympic debut
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By Alan Fraser

PUBLISHED: 05:40 EST, 29 July 2012 | UPDATED: 15:18 EST, 29 July 2012

 

If Granny was game enough to jump out of a helicopter for the sake of the Olympics, then surely Zara Phillips could have answered a question on the subject.

But, no, with regard to Her Majesty the Queen, Team GB’s most celebrated Eventer let her horse do the talking at Greenwich Park.

Her failure to enter into the spirit demonstrated by her nana proved disappointing since debutants Phillips and High Kingdom, who does not boast the conversational qualities of the famous Mister Ed, had just produced the dressage performance she had hoped for but could scarcely have guaranteed.

Nay problem: Phillips enjoyed a steady start on her Olympic debut

Nay problem: Phillips enjoyed a steady start on her Olympic debut

A score of 46.10 penalty points neither threatened the individual lead nor counted in the top three for the team competition.

But it maintained momentum in the home challenge for a medal at the beginning of a day which ended with Britain in third place behind defending champions Germany and Australia.

‘I had a couple of mistakes but overall I was pleased with how he dealt with everything,’ Phillips remarked.

‘He’s bored with dressage now and wants to get out there,’ she added, referring to Monday’s cross country test, always the most glamourous and exciting element of the Eventing competition.

If High Kingdom was bored, what chance for the rest of us?

Dressage is very much for the cognoscenti — poetry to the purist, as someone once said, poison to the rest.

How else to view a discipline which awards high marks not for running fast but for, er, walking well? An Olympic motto that states ‘more controlled, higher and stronger’ would struggle to inspire a generation.

By royal appointment: Princess Anne and the Duke of Edinburgh were in attendance

By royal appointment: Princess Anne and the Duke of Edinburgh were in attendance

Occasionally, a horse would break into a trot, even a gentle canter, but every movement is carried out at such a soporific speed that a television slow motion replay borders on farce.

All against background music that is specifically chosen to calm the horse and, as an unwitting by-product, nudge the heavier lunchers into the land of nod.

Ave Maria had just drifted away from the magnificent arena next to the National Maritime Museum across Queen’s House and towards such London totems as Canary Wharf, O2 and The Shard — all visible from the upper reaches of the stands — when Phillips made her entrance.

Robbie Williams had taken over by the time she moved into the field of play, as they call the 60 by 20 metre area.

‘She’s The One,’ he sang. What else!

She was certainly the one as far as the cameras were concerned, though with Royalty among the spectators too, lenses were also required to point in the direction of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Strutting her stuff: Zara Phillips competes on High Kingdom as she made her Olympic bow

Strutting her stuff: Zara Phillips competes on High Kingdom as she made her Olympic bow

The first storm broke just as Tina Cook, the bronze medallist from Beijing, began her exercise on  Miner’s Frolic.

‘We are used to it, we live up on the South Downs getting blown away,’ Cook commented. ‘But the noises when the judge’s roof looked as though it was going to come off just as he was doing his extended trot! I really hoped he was not going to spook.’

Her score of 42 proved highly commendable in the circumstances.

William Fox-Pitt, the current world No 1, missed the worst of the weather but ran into some foul judging with his 44.2 a harsh reflection of an excellent routine.

‘You can account for your own horse, but you can’t account for judges,’ he stated.

Fox-Pitt and Mary King, whose 40.9 on Saturday top scored for Britain, now  fervently hope that today’s cross country proves tough enough to negate the importance of the dressage.

The tougher the better, as far as  Britain is concerned.

What about the parachuting monarch?

‘I’m not going to answer that,’  Phillips said in naff-off mode.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Ebola could hit 15 countries across Africa: Study of how disease has spread in past finds 70million people may be at risk of infection

The Ebola outbreak could hit 15 countries across Africa - putting the lives of 70 million people at risk, a groundbreaking study has found. In a ...

economic ties with China as two countries announce £2.4bn in new commercial deals

Britain is to forge closer economic ties with China after Chancellor George Osborne announced £2.4billion in new commercial deals with the People’s Republic. As the annual ...

Manchester Dogs Home: Public raise over £200,000 in hours after dogs home fire

Donations have poured in for Manchester Dogs’ Home after a fire ripped through the premises, killing more than 53 dogs last night. A JustGiving page set ...

Manchester Dogs' Home: 15-year-old questioned on suspicion of arson attack after blaze kills 40 dogs

A 15-year-old boy is being questioned on suspicion of arson after a blaze at Manchester Dogs' Home which killed more than 40 dogs. Firefighters were called ...

Oscar Pistorius braced for verdict in Reeva Steenkamp murder trial

The judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has started delivering her long-awaited verdict in a case that has gripped the world - a decision ...

Airline passenger was accidentally given suitcase full of plastic EXPLOSIVES left at Sydney airport by the AFP a month ago... then took them home 

A woman got more than what she bargained for when she was given a replacement suitcase at Sydney airport after her luggage was damaged on ...

I'm convinced Oscar Pistorius is innocent, says journalist to have spent time with the time athlete during his murder trial

Mark Williams-Thomas believes athlete shot Reeva Steenkamp by mistake Reporter says he has spoken to Paralympian and his family in 'real detail' He says double-amputee is a ...

Royal baby hoax hospital staff wanted to discipline nurse Jacintha Saldanha

An Australian DJ has made a face-to-face apology to the family of a nurse who killed herself after she put her through to the Duchess of ... Full story

Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without

A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story

White Dee, Benefits Street's most infamous and shameless resident

Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand CAR DEALER to save £1 million in celebrity tax avoidance scheme

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand car dealer while presenting Radio 1’s Breakfast Show in a bid to save up to £1million in ... Full story

Comment on: London 2012 Olympics: Zara Phillips pleased with Olympic debut

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Joey Barton labels Mario Balotelli as 'the biggest myth in world football'

Joey Barton has described Mario Balotelli as "the biggest myth in world football", who will not be able to replace Luis Suarez at Liverpool. The Queens ...

Ed Miliband Labour conference speech: What he said...and what he meant

Ed Miliband might have fluffed his lines in his keynote speech, leaving out the minor detail of the deficit and national debt, but he did ...

F-22: America's $67 billion weapon of war spearheading fight against Isis

The F-22A Raptor made its combat debut with the US Air Force on Monday night during the first US air strikes against Isis (also known ...

Ed Miliband speech receives a Pet Shop Boys remix focusing on 'together'

He may have forgotten to mention the UK’s financial deficit in his Labour party conference speech yesterday (23 September), but Ed Miliband did remember to ...

President Obama gets flack for saluting Marines while holding a cup

President Barack Obama faced a storm in a teacup yesterday after he was seen saluting military personnel while simultaneously holding a polystyrene mug. In a video ...

Gareth speaks! The man who inspired Ed Miliband revealed

Ed Miliband's conference speech almost read like a political version of Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5: there was Josephine, Xiomara, Rosie, Elizabeth and...Gareth. It was the ...

Abu Qatada to walk free after being cleared of terrorism plot charges by Jordan court

Radical Islamic preacher Abu Qatada has been cleared of terrorism charges in Jordan after being deported from the UK following an eight-year legal battle. The 53-year-old ...

More than a quarter of mortgage borrowers at risk if rates rise

More than a quarter of mortgage borrowers will face financial trouble when interest rates rise. That’s according to a new study published today. The research from ...

Islamic State: Plea for West to help more than 1,000 kidnapped Yazidi women in Isis 'sex trade'

Yazidis in Iraq have made an emotional plea for the international community to help find more than 1,000 women and children kidnapped by the Islamic ...

India has success with cut price mission to Mars

Indian scientists erupted in applause and celebration today after the country successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars – becoming only the fourth nation ...