Equestrian fans have three weeks to vote for Zara Phillips as 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year after nominations for the award opened on Saturday.

If Britain’s current European Eventing Champion wins the prestigious title she would be following closely in her mother’s footsteps. Princess Anne won a European Eventing Gold medal and was the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971, 10 years before Zara was born.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year is the definitive review of the sporting year. Nominations will close on 8 December at noon, with the top five nominees going forward to a live on-the-night vote when the programme airs on Sunday 11 December. Sue Barker and Gary Linekar will be hosting the show, live from BBC television centre in London.

Zara’s momentous individual and team gold medal success at the European Evening Championships was just one of Britain’s impressive line up of sporting achievements this year. The past 12 months have seen London capture the 2012 Olympics bid while England won The Ashes for the first time in recent memory, to mention just two.

As a result Zara will be up against a host of strong candidates including cricketers Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan, sailor Ellen MacArthur, athlete Paula Radcliffe, tennis player Andrew Murray, and footballers Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry.

But there is no reason why the 24-year old eventing champion should not win over the BBC audience. Last week she managed to beat off stiff competition including Paula Radcliffe and Dame Ellen McArthur to take the Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year Award. The BBC Sports Personality crown would round off the young champion’s incredible year in style.

To nominate Zara Phillips as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year:

  • Text “Zara Phillips” to 81111 (Texts charged at standard operator rate)
  • Phone 09011 121314 (Calls cost 25p)
  • Visit www.bbc.co.uk/sportspersonalityThe text service is operated by Audiocall, 80 Wood Lane, London W12 0TT

    Voting on the night for the Sports Personality of the Year will take place via phone, text, and, for digital viewers, by pressing the red button.

  • Read Zara’s thoughts on the past year in Horse & Hound’s exclusive interview, on sale now.

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