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Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - Page updated at 06:30 p.m.
Queen's granddaughter wins silver medal in equestrian eventing
LONDON — Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, added to the family silver on Tuesday, helping team Britain to a second-place finish behind Germany in Olympic equestrian eventing. Putting a shine on the moment: Her mother, Princess Anne, presented the medal.
It was a very royal family affair Tuesday at Greenwich Park, London's oldest royal park and the home of equestrian events for the 2012 Olympics.
Princes William and Harry and William's wife Kate were in the stands to cheer on their cousin as she competed in the final show-jumping portion of the three-stage eventing competition, coming out for a second day in a row to support "Team GB."
Phillips said the experience was "amazing" and "unreal" — if not a bit disappointing given that Britain went into the final hoping to win. But Phillips and teammate Nicola Wilson both knocked down fences, and the penalties dashed Britain's hopes for gold.
"We wanted gold, but we made mistakes," Phillips said. Then holding her new piece of silver, she said: "When we got this around our necks, it was all worth it."
Michael Jung on Sam led the German team to its second consecutive Olympic gold — and then picked up the individual gold to boot with a combined score of 40.6 after incurring no penalties beyond his initial dressage score. He is now current Olympic, world and European eventing champion. And if that weren't enough, Tuesday was his 30th birthday.
"It was amazing, awesome," he said.
After racing through the treacherous cross-country course without any penalties the day before, Phillips' horse, High Kingdom, knocked down a rail on the second jump Tuesday, incurring four penalty points. He completed the rest of the course cleanly, albeit a bit over the 83-second limit. The crowd gasped when the rail came down but applauded wildly as she finished.
"It was my fault," Phillips said. "After that he jumped fantastically."
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