Zara Phillips in Olympic team

The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips will be part of the Team GB Olympic equestrian team. She follows in the hoofprints of her mother Princess Anne, who rode in the 1976 Olympics and her father Mark Phillips, who won a gold medal in 1972 and silver in 1988.

"It's awesome to be given this opportunity," Zara said, showing she already has a firm grasp on sporting vocabulary. "I am really excited and can't wait to kick on and get him there. Hopefully, we will make it this time."

Her chances of making the team were thought to be slim after the retirement of her regular mount Toytown last year. She came back into contention with a third place at the Bramham Horse Trials on her new horse High Kingdom. She missed out on Olympic competition in 2004 and 2008 because of injuries to Toytown, so this will be a welcome chance to go for a medal.

It’s also a chance for Phillips to restore a little of the family sporting pride, after husband Mike Tindall’s embarrassment on and off the field with the England rugby union squad last year.

The presence of a royal in the team should increase the public interest in the eventing competition, held within easy reach of the capital, in Greenwich Park. The eventing was one of the first sports to sell out when tickets went on sale last year.

Joining Phillips in the team are William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Tina Cook and Piggy French, who might sound like a character from a Jilly Cooper novel but who won last year's Olympic test event.

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