The Queen’s grand-daughter and former World Champion event rider Zara Phillips returned to the Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun Horse Trials last weekend.
“We came up last year and really enjoyed it,” said Zara. “Everyone was really welcoming and it was good for the horses so we decided to come up again.
“Scotland is a big part of my life. I went to school here and I’ve grown up here in the summer holidays. I love coming up here,” added the Princess Royal’s daughter.
And the event just gets better and better according to Olympic silver medalist Nicola Wilson who won the event’s most prestigious class for the second consecutive year.
Nicola who clinched the CIC 3* competition, said: “The event just goes from strength to strength.
‘‘It is a fabulous setting and phenomenal to be able to show jump here on the West Lawn in front of the house.”
These two riders were among several Olympic medal winners competing at the weekend. Sir Mark Todd, the only event rider to win back to back gold medals finished 12th in the CCI 2* competition and Blyth Tait, a fellow New Zealand Olympian was second in one class and fourth with two further horses.
Hopetoun welcomed thousands to a mostly fine weekend of top equestrian sport and family entertainment, with local children enjoying entertainment ranging from the historical throwing the stuffed sack competition to Baxter Bear’s tea party and a bouncy castle.
The Earl of Hopetoun played a large part in the weekend welcoming riders and sponsors alike.
He said: “We have been fantastically lucky with the weather and enjoyed a great weekend’s sport. We are unbelievably grateful to the remarkable number of owners and riders who make the journey from the south to help make this such a great event.
“Whether they have come for the horses, the dog activities or just to enjoy the weekend in the park, we are delighted to welcome so many families to Hopetoun and urge them to come back again next year.”