British Olympic team silver medalist Zara Phillips had a successful return to competition over the weekend, with a top 10 finish on her London 2012 horse High Kingdom.
Phillips, 32, took three other horses to the Symm International Horse Trials at the Hambledon Estate of Urs Schwarzenbach at Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire, over Easter Weekend.
It was her first time back in competition since the birth of baby Mia, on January 17. Her last competition was in July, 2013.
Phillips rode High Kingdom to finish ninth in an open intermediate, with Black Tuxedo finishing down the field in the same class. She also had CG Master Lux (20th) and Mr Murt (22nd) in an open novice.
Phillips also set off to the Milton Keynes One Day Event on Tuesday, giving some of her younger horses a run. High Kingdom, the riders World Equestrian Games hope, is expected to be out for the advanced class at Chatsworth on May 16.
New Zealand rider Jonelle Price had a good day at the office at Hambeldon, with a win on Could Dancer II and a second on Look Now in different intermediate classes, and a second on Reminiscent in the open intermediate. Britain’s Matthew Heath won the latter class on Marseille, and also won a novice on Highland Patriot.
• Many other Kiwi riders had an outing at Burnham Market at the weekend, including Kentucky bound riders Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd.
Riders from 22 nations and many Badminton Horse Trials bound combinations had a last run at the event, which hosted a record number of spectators, with gate numbers up more than 15% on previous years.
“It was great to see so many people both watching the action and shopping in the tradestands,” said Event Organiser Alec Lochore. “Several competitors remarked to me how much they enjoyed riding in front of such enthusiastic spectators.”
Oliver Townend won both of the big CIC3* classes, one of them on Armada, his ride at Badminton in two weeks time. Second to Armada was Australia’s Paul Tapner and Indian Mill, with Mark Todd and NZB Campino third. Todd was also eighth on St Daniel, and fellow Kiwi Lucy Jackson was fifth on Willy Do.
Townend, who had 13 horses at the event, won the other CIC3* on Black Tie II, with Nicola Wilson second with Beltane Queen, and New Zealand’s Craig Nicolai third on Just Ironic. Blyth Tait was fifth in this class on Bear Necessity V. Townend also won a novice on LLC Cooley.
Caroline Powell managed a quinella in a BE100 class, winning with Halcyon Sparkey and finishing second with Coumroe Patch. Jackson won an open novice on Corazon, and Andrew Nicholson was second in an intermediate with Urma BK.