Zara Phillips and Toytown are making their Olympic debut at Cheltenham racecourse today (23 May). However, the pair won’t be racing down the final straight; they’ll be carrying the Olympic torch.
The torch will be carried a total of 140.5 miles on day five of the relay, starting at Bristol and finishing in Cheltenham. The Queen's granddaughter is to be the last torchbearer of the day and will parade the length of the Cheltenham finishing straight, before lighting a ceremonial cauldron at the evening event.
Toytown took Miss Philips to victory at both the World and European Championships, however they never made it to the Olympics due to injuries. Toytown was retired from eventing last year and now Zara hopes her horse High Kingdom will finally enable her to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
The Princess Royal, who received the Olympic flame in Greece last week, was the first member of the Royal family to compete in an Olympics. She was part of the eventing team riding the Queen's horse, Goodwill, at Montreal in 1976. She was seventh after the dressage, but had a bad fall at fence 19 on the cross-country, although she went on to complete the course.