Eventing Royal returns to her winning ways

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Zara Phillips enjoyed her first eventing victory since the birth of her daughter in January.

Steady clear

Competing in the Intermediate section T at Bicton Arena yesterday (27 April), Zara and Mr Murtproduced a decent dressage test with a score of 34.1pen. The pair then went clear in the showjumping and jumped a steady clear on the cross-country to add 18.4 time faults, which was still good enough to win their section.

The Olympic silver medalist also came ninth with CG Master Lux, after jumping another double clear, this time incurring 16.8 time faults.

Top riders

Zara was originally entered for Withington Manor in Gloucestershire, which was cancelled due to bad weather. Bicton then added on an extra day of competition to ensure eventers would still get a run.

“Zara was lovely and very grateful that we were able to accommodate riders with Intermediate runs who were planning to go to Withington,” said Bicton Arena manager Helen West. “We moved our own Intermediate sections onto Friday to avoid the clash with Withington and the irony is that Withington then had to abandon.”

Within an hour of opening Sunday’s classes, Bicton received 100 entries, which included Lucinda Fredericks, Paul Tapner, Aoife Clarke, Kitty King and Daisy Berkeley.

Team spirit

“Everyone was amazing in coming forward to help and the team spirit and comradeship has been incredible,” said Helen. “I ended up with more volunteers today than on the other two days.

“Jane Holderness-Roddam was supposed to judge at Withington and came to us instead, bringing with her three working pupils who helped in the showjumping. The fence judges and the showjumping judges all wanted to stay and help too.”