Equestrian Royalty History
Queen Elizabeth II is over ninety years old and still doing what she loves doing; riding and caring for horses. At the age of three years, the current Queen of England was given her first pony by her grandfather King George V. That gift was a Shetland mare named Peggy. She immediately clambered on for her first riding lesson and hasn’t looked back.
The queen’s daughter Princess Anne is also a fine rider having competed as part of the United Kingdom’s equestrian team in 1976. She participated in both the individual and team event competitions. She didn’t do fantastically, placing twenty-fourth in individual, but as a part of her team, she placed ninth. She was the sole competing woman who wasn’t subjected to a gender exam as she was the daughter of the reigning queen and the test was deemed inappropriate.
Princess Anne was married to Captain Mark Phillips, who is a gold medal winning equestrian who represented the United Kingdom in the worlds to receive titles, and then at the 1972 Olympics where he won his gold. English Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman for Great Britain and former husband of Anne, Princess Royal, with whom he has two children.
Continuing into the third generation of British equestrian royalty, the daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Phillps, Ms. Zara Phillips is a very accomplished rider. Sponsored by private corporations to fund her equestrian career, she has won gold at the European Eventing Championships and both gold and silver at the Worlds. Injury to her mount prevented her participation in the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, but she proved her mettle at the London games in 2012 where her team won Silver. The winners were presented their medals by Ms. Phillips mother, Princess Anne.
While a long and storied equestrian history is not the sole propriety of just the British royal tradition, it’s probably the best known to those of us in the Western World. It’s likely that Queen Elizabeth’s great grandchild will continue the equestrian wins even into the next generation.