Excitement is rising as Zara Phillips and all four of her Team GB equestrian team-mates ran fine rounds in the Olympic cross-country at Greenwich Park on July 30, 2012. Stage two of the eventing competition showed where the British team’s strength lay and by the end of the day Team GB was in the running for a silver medal at 130.20 points.
Germany still leads and Sweden and Australia are very close behind; the July 31 arena jumping will clinch the matter but there’s always room for surprises, as Ms. Phillips noted later:
“He was so honest. It was hard work but you just have to get on with it. He’s a very suitable horse but lost a front shoe so it was even harder for him but he stepped up to the plate.”
Even though High Kingdom tossed a shoe partway round, Zara Phillips completed her ride cleanly under the time allotted, meaning her July 30 dressage score remains as her only penalties. She is in joint 10th place for the individual competition, and stands less than seven points behind the leader for the individual contest; Kristina Cook is 5th and Mary King is 6th.
Zara is one of just three team-mates without penalties in this round. She was also reportedly one of just four riders who didn’t have time penalties at all and the fifth fastest overall. The other clean scores were Kristina Cook and Nicola Wilson. However, Mary King’s score was the third to be counted towards team totals, as even with her extra 1.20 penalties her score was better than Wilson’s to date.
The course, which included British-themed jumps and a few whimsical ones such as a crescent moon, was difficult. The ground was slippery and unseated 15 of 74 riders, according to the “The Telegraph.” Mary King even had to halt her round to allow for cleanup after one fall, though there were no permanent injuries to either horses or riders.
The royal turnout was significant: Princess Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Michael of Kent were all there rooting for Zara Phillips and Team GB. The Princess Royal and Mike Tindall were reportedly out on the course—the couple celebrate their first wedding anniversary today.
The Royals weren’t the only supporters: “The Daily Mail” said that a crowd of 50,000 showed up and the cheers were so deafening that Mary King quipped she couldn’t hear her portable stopwatch.
The suspense will soon be over as the showjumping takes place July 31 in the small wee hours—by the time most Americans wake up, the 2012 eventing team medals will be determined, and the top 25 showjumpers will take part in a final round to determine the individual winners.
- Zara Phillips debuts at the Olympics
- Prince William and Prince Harry support Team GB, days 2 & 3
Sources: London 2012 official news; Telegraph (royal presence); Telegraph; Daily Mail;
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