Zara Phillips is to act as the starter at the Ledbury’s Hayes Golden Button Challenge this weekend (Saturday 15 January).

The three-mile cross-country race was originally due to be held on New Year’s Day but was rescheduled due to the cold snap.

The event rider and Royal, who recently became engaged to rugby player Mike Tindall, will start the race at 10am from the village of Forthampton, Gloucestershire. The race finishes at Town Street Farm in Tirley.

Organisers expect around 40 horses to take part in the fifth Golden Button Challenge.

Zara will also start the human running race, which takes place over an adjacent course once the horse race has finished.

“The ground was perfect yesterday morning (Monday, 10 January), but we had a lot of rain during the afternoon and evening, and I am expecting more before Saturday, so the going is likely to be on the soft side. The weather forecast is for a dry day on Saturday,” said clerk of the course Roger Warner.