Phillips waits over Olympic selection
June 11, 2012 07:12 am
Zara Phillips should know within the next 48 hours whether or not she has done enough to clinch a place in Great Britain's equestrian eventing team for London 2012.
The British selectors held their final deliberations on Sunday after 2006 world champion Phillips had secured an impressive third-place finish in the Equi-Trek Bramham International CIC three-star class.
She could hardly have done any more, recording a personal best dressage score of 43.2 penalties on High Kingdom before jumping clear showjumping and cross-country rounds.
Only world number one William Fox-Pitt and the brilliant New Zealander Andrew Nicholson finished above her as Phillips responded admirably to intense pressure. Her nudge in the direction of selectors Ian Stark, Mandy Stibbe and Angela Tucker could not have been better timed.
Phillips, whose 2004 and 2008 Olympic selection hopes were dashed by injuries to her former top horse Toytown, beat fellow London contenders Nicola Wilson, Tina Cook, Laura Collett and Lucy Wiegersma, although they also all performed strongly.
While Fox-Pitt, Wilson, Mary King and Piggy French are widely expected to be picked for London, the fifth spot appears a battle between at least five riders, including 31-year-old Phillips.
"He (High Kingdom) has improved loads this year, and it has been great to have had the opportunity to really show to everyone what he can do," said Phillips, the Queen's grand-daughter.
"He is constantly improving and we are fighting for our spot. Competition is so strong that it is probably tougher for the selectors than anyone else. Everybody wants to be at the Olympics, and I am no exception.
"He had a double clear inside the time and a personal best dressage. Hopefully, they will see that he has improved and might get even better.
"It was probably good to have a bit of pressure on here and to see if we could come up with the goods."
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