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.

Headlines Newsview all

Muslim hate preacher was allowed to spread jihad in British mosques before London bombings

A MUSLIM hate preacher who was allowed to tour British mosques and spread the message of jihad may have planted the idea of the London ... Full story

Another reason to quit the EU: Foreigners rack up £723m NHS bill

Figures produced by the Department of Health show that, since 2007-8, the UK has paid £6.18billion in health costs for British citizens in Europe – ... Full story

ISIS warns London is next in terror video threatening non-Muslims across Europe

ISLAMIC State has issued a chilling video warning that London is next to be hit by a terror attack at least as deadly as the ... Full story

Police psychological sick leave up 35% in five years

Cases of UK police officers and staff taking long-term sick leave for psychological reasons have risen by 35% over the last five years, statistics obtained ... Full story

Panama Papers: Cameron under pressure over tax havens

David Cameron is coming under pressure to stop British overseas territories and Crown dependencies being used by the wealthy to reduce their tax bills. A massive ... Full story

Donald Trump Is An ‘Idiot’ Whose Nato Comments Are Making Putin Happy, Say British MPs

Donald Trump is an “idiot” for his criticism of Nato and is making Vladimir Putin “very happy”, British MPs have said. On Saturday, the frontrunner in ... Full story

Royal Mint mark Queen's birthday with £5 coin - which could cost you as much as £7,500

Struck by the Royal Mint they have been issued in a variety of finishes and metals, including editions in platinum, gold and silver. The coins feature ... Full story

Feeling the pressure? Cameron snaps with bizarre rant over EU referendum

David Cameron dismissed talk of a split in the Tory party and in a bizarre rant said it was just journalists “setting each others’ hair ... Full story

Leaving Europe is VITAL to protect strained NHS, warns Cabinet minister

Cabinet member and Employment Minister Priti Patel has warned the health service will be better off if the UK votes to leave the EU. She claims ... Full story

Santander cash machine ALERT: Police warn public NOT to use cashpoints over security risk

Forces in both Lancashire and Cheshire have issued alerts over the use of Santander cashpoints as customers' details may be at risk. The warning follows reports ... Full story

Holiday bargains for families as costs tumble across EU: Britons set to save HUNDREDS

Costs across Europe have plummeted as the price of food, drinks and entertainment has been slashed in resorts.  They have nosedived more than 40 per cent ... Full story

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

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Man dies following 'chemical incident' on the Isle of Wight

The man in his 20s died at St Mary's Hospital hours after the incidentParamedics treated the victim at his home in Cowes on the Isle ...

Body found in search for missing Taddeo Haigh near Sawmill Settlement near Merrijig

Police have found a body believe to be Taddeo Haigh's near MerrijigTaddeo Haigh went missing from Sawmill in Victoria's remote alpine regionHis wife Elizabeth has ...

Financier John Gutfreund's apartment hits the market for $120M

The 20-room apartment was for decades home to late financier John Gutfreund, a onetime 'King of Wall Street'In March, Gutfreund died of complications from ...

French synagogue to be converted into a mosque due to 'the shift of the Jewish community' reveals religious leader 

Muslim group to buy synagogue in Marseille after a fall in Jewish attendeesJews flocked to Marseille after Algeria was granted independence in 1962But Jewish community ...

60 Minutes Lebanon kidnap fiasco slammed by wife of recovery agent still in jail

Wife of the child recovery agent at centre kidnapping scandal slams NineKarin Whittington said Channel Nine could have helped free her husbandAdam Whittington is still ...

Terrifying moment a plane is struck by LIGHTNING

Video shows exact moment lightning struck plane approaching HeathrowFlight from Reykjavik to London was hit during a thunderstorm last nightLuckily the plane was not affected ...

Theresa May alerted after security system that detects terrorists goes down twice in 48hrs

Theresa May contacted at midnight as eBookers security system went downSystem checks terrorists and criminals coming to Britain before they arriveBritain on 'severe' alert after ...

Apple pays tribute to Hispanic man who 'took his own life' at the company's HQ

Apple says it is providing support to co-workers after apparent suicideTech company praised 'young and talented' employee in press releaseHispanic man was found dead inside ...

Australian woman went on all-expenses-trip around the world and stayed in luxury hotels with a man who had paid to enjoy her company

Sarah Andros, 44, traveled the world with a man who paid for her company The mum of two met her travel companion on the dating site MissTravelThe Australian ...

Baby Gammy's parents could face 14 years jail over perjury allegations

Gammy's parents David and Wendy Farnell were at centre of controversyThey were accused of abandoning the boy with Down Syndrome overseasFamily Court granted the Farnells ...