Zara Tindall ‘keen’ for Mike to ‘share love of horses’ says insider
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The only daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, Zara Tindall has emulated her mother’s impressive sporting record in her own career. Like her parents and grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, Zara grew up with a love of horses and became an accomplished rider, making it all the way to the Olympics.
After studying at the University of Exeter and qualifying as a physiotherapist, Zara pursued an equestrian career, following in her parents’ footsteps.
In her first four-star event in 2003, she finished as the runner-up at the Burghley Horse Trials – and quickly went from strength to strength.
Riding her horse Toytown, Zara collected individual and gold team medals at the 2005 European Eventing Championship in Blenheim.
A year later, she added even more medals to her record, taking home individual gold and team silver medals at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Germany.
READ MORE: Zara Tindall’s husband Mike opens up about marriage and children
Those medals made her the reigning Eventing World Champion until 2010.
On home turf, she had garnered acclaim for her sporting achievements, and many compared her to her mother, Princess Anne.
Zara was even voted as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2006 – taking after her mother, who won the award in 1971.
In 2007, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2007 New Year Honours for her services to the sport.
After almost ten years in the business, Zara made her Olympic debut in the London 2012 Olympics – but it wasn’t meant to be her first time.
She was on the verge of making it into the British eventing team for the 2004 Games but was unable to make the squad due to an injury to her beloved horse Toytown.
Four years later, Zara was tipped to compete in Beijing – until Toytown sustained another injury, meaning the pair could not compete again.
Speaking at the time, Zara said: “I am very disappointed not to have the opportunity to ride at the Olympic Games and feel that Toytown deserved his chance to go.
“However, with horses, these things happen and we still have a very strong team, I wish them every success.”
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Finally, in 2012, Zara competed alongside her Team GB teammates William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Tina Cook and Nicola Wilson.
Zara competed with her horse in eventing’s three disciplines – dressage, cross-country and show jumping.
The team took home silver medals after being narrowly beaten by Germany.
Her mother Princess Anne presented her with her medal, while Zara’s husband Mike and cousin Prince William, along with the Duchess of Cambridge watched on from the stands in Greenwich Park.
After giving birth to her first child Mia in 2014, Zara returned to her sporting career, attempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
However, she was unsuccessful – and suffered another heartbreak not long after failing to make selection.
Her horse Toytown, on which she had won she had won five major championship medals, died in 2017.
In a statement, Zara said: “I’m heartbroken to say that yesterday morning I had to say goodbye to my greatest friend and horse of a lifetime, Toytown.
“He was the most incredible athlete with the biggest heart, European and world champion back to back.
“He made my career and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for the amazing times we had together.
“He was a huge part of my family, an amazing animal and a true champion.”
Zara has now welcomed two more children – Lena and Lucas – but still competes in equestrian events.
She last competed only four months after giving birth to her son at the Barbury Castle International Horse Trials in July 2021.
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