Phillips savours summer of sport

10 July 2012 / 18:56

Zara Phillips is looking forward to playing her part in a memorable British summer of sport when she competes in the equestrian at the Olympic Games in London later this month.

Phillips will aim for gold on her horse High Kingdom, striving to build on the inspiring eventing achievements of her parents, the Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips. The 31-year-old former world and European champion is finally set to get the chance to compete at the Games at her third attempt.

The Olympics arrive on the back of a groundswell in sporting patriotism following, Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the Open Championship. And Phillips, who carried the Olympic torch in Cheltenham, said: "Last weekend we had Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix on at the same time, it's shaping up to be some great sport. I'm just really looking forward to it."

Phillips added: "Obviously it's exciting but until we get there and get in the stables and start the competition, we just keep our fingers crossed."

Phillips is joined in Britain's five-strong team by William Fox-Pitt, who is competing at his fourth Olympics.

The well-respected, experienced rider claimed a silver medal in Athens 2004 and bronze in Beijing 2008, but the 43-year-old insists nerves will still play a part this time around.

"They certainly do, they're a big part of any competition and the Olympics would make you plenty nervous enough," Fox-Pitt said. "But there's a lot that's happened, there's a lot we've already been through so hopefully the nerves will be well under control and we'll be able to use them to our advantage."

Team-mate Mary King has the honour of competing at her sixth Games and, with silver and bronze already under her belt, like Fox-Pitt she is hoping London 2012 tops the lot.

"I hope it will be the best yet, time will tell," King said. "I'm riding a fantastic horse, Imperial Cavalier, and I've got as good a chance as I've ever had at an Olympic Games. So fingers crossed it goes my way.

"I've been very fortunate to have ridden at Olympics around the world and now to have an Olympics in my own country, I feel I'm so lucky and honoured to be given a chance to ride them."