Zara Tindall has said she feels lucky to have her horses with her during lockdown as she keeps her hope of competing in the Olympics again alive.
Zara, the Queen’s oldest granddaughter, is silver Olympic medal-winning equestrian and hopes to represent Team GB in the next games.
She and her grandmother are appearing in the same edition of Horse & Hound magazine, as the Queen gave a rare approved interview about her favourite horses of the years.
Zara, 39, said: “I love riding for my country; those have been the best experiences of my career.
“To get your horse to that level is what it’s all about and what we all strive for.
“I love the big occasion because I love the pressure – sitting on a horse that you know is good enough, you are fully prepared, riding for your country, it’s what your dreams are made of.”
Zara was considered something of a long shot for the 2020 Olympic Games which were to be held in Tokyo and have had to be postponed.
But she is pinning her hopes on Class Affair as a team horse.
Zara has been disappointed by not being able to compete at the Badminton Horse Trials, which was cancelled in May because of the pandemic.
She added: “Having horses like Class Affair and Watkins to aim at Badminton was exciting and gave everything a focus; now those goals aren’t there, it’s quite weird and you have to deal with the disappointment.
“Those of us who have been able to spend time with our horses during lockdown are so lucky – a lot of people haven’t and that’s incredibly tough for them.”
Zara’s interview is in the same edition of the magazine as the Queen’s revelation on her favourite 13 horses over the years. She gave the list and a rare approved interview with her racing team for special royal edition.
Mother-of-two Zara lives with her husband Mike Tindall, a former England rugby captain, and their daughters Mia and Lena on the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire.
They live close to Zara’s mother, Princess Anne. Prince Charles’s Highgrove home is only six miles away too.
The estate has been Anne’s home since 1976 when it was bought for her by the Queen as her private residence. The value of the home wasn’t disclosed at the time but was estimated to be between £500,000-£750,000.
It’s the equivalent of something like £3.2million now.
The Tindalls moved into one of the houses on the estate in 2013, and Zara’s older brother Peter Phillips has a home there too.
Peter previously lived with his wife Autumn and their daughters Savannah and Isla, on the estate, but the couple split earlier this year. It’s thought they will stay nearby and possibly both on the estate but in separate homes.
Gatcombe Park is a working organic farm and until last year was the home to the annual Gatcombe Horse Trials.
In 2014, Anne spoke to Countryfile about her home, saying: “It's really nice to come back and just be yourself in an area like this. Being able to take on a place like this – for me, I’ve got to make it work.
“This is not something that comes free, this has got to pay its way, otherwise I can’t stay here.”
Last year she held the last of the Horse Trials, which she previously admitted were often a “close-run thing” and did not turn a large profit.
She said: “People think you’re making money out of these things, but it’s a close-run thing. We don’t make enough money.
“Even picking up people’s hay and other rubbish from their [horse] lorries could threaten our organic status.”
However the Festival of British Eventing, which is organised by her former husband, Captain Mark Phillips, and her son is still held each summer.
This year the event is scheduled for 7-9 August and organisers are still hoping to run it.