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Zara Phillips, the queen's granddaughter, earns Olympic silver

July 31, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Zara Phillips, riding High Kingdom, waves to the crowd after competing in the individual jumping equestrian final on Tuesday.
Zara Phillips, riding High Kingdom, waves to the crowd after competing… (Alex Livesey / Getty Images )

Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, won an Olympic equestrian eventing silver medal with the British team Tuesday at the London Games. Germany took the gold with a low score of 133.7, followed by Britain with 138.2 and New Zealand with 144.4.

Phillips, who had a penalty-free run Monday on the treacherous cross-country course, cost her team seven points Tuesday as a penalty for knocking down a rail on the second jump and going longer than the 83 seconds allowed for the course.

“I messed up at the start but I told myself I had to get on with it,” said Phillips, the 31-year-old daughter of Princess Anne. “I’m very disappointed for the team and I hope I haven’t let them down.”

PHOTOS: Royalty takes in the Games

Overall, though, the Germans added nine penalties on Tuesday while Britain had eight.

Phillips, a former world and European eventing champion, said that she had put her horse, High Kingdom, in a tough takeoff spot as she approached the second jump.

“It was my fault,” said Phillips, whose mother was an Olympian eventing competitor in 1976, and father, Capt. Mark Phillips, won team gold in 1972 and is now the coach of the U.S. eventing team. “After that he jumped fantastically.”

Phillips' three-day score also qualified her for the individual show jump final in the afternoon, where a clean, penalty-free round gave her an eighth-place finish out of an initial 75 riders. With her fist in the air, she took an extra lap around the ring to wild applause from the audience, which included her parents, cousins William and Harry; and Prince Charles' wife Camilla.

“Unfortunately, we couldn't quite do it,” Phillips said of falling short of team gold. “We can't be disappointed with a silver medal because it's an amazing thing to be here.”

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