Zara Phillips’s (pictured) impressive Burghley debut has earned her a place as the youngest member of the new 14-strong eventing Olympic long-list, from which five riders will be chosen to represent Britain in Athens.
At 22, Zara, a silver medallist at young rider level, is one of four new faces on the senior squad charged by UK Sport with bringing home a minimum medal haul of team bronze and individual silver, in line with Team GB’s mission to finish in the top 10 nations.
Sarah Cutteridge, former young rider gold medallist who shone at Bramham and Burghley on Vin Jones’s mares, The Wexford Lady and Erbium, also gains a first senior team listing, alongside Bumble Thomas, 10th at Burghley on Richenda Lord’s The Psephologist, and Vicky Brake, 21st with Whatley Manor’s Call Again Cavalier.
For Vicky, aged 40, long-listing, with the attendant promise of funding and training, is reward for more than 20 years’ work.
She says: “They say life begins at 40! It’s a thrill and what every rider strives for. I get my horses as youngsters and a lot of the good ones have been sold, so it’s been a long process.”
William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell, who have won eight three-day events between them this year, have a remarkable combined total of 12 horses listed.
Also under consideration are Jeanette Brakewell and Over To You, Leslie Law (Shear H20, Shear L’Eau), Polly Stockton (Tangleman, Eye Spy ll, Word For Word), Caroline Pratt (Primitive Control), Kristina Cook (Captain Christy), Mary King (King Solomon), Polly Jackson (Limestone Rise) and Rodney Powell (Colour Coded).