Phillips celebrates silver and dismisses right royal regrets

AT GREENWICH PARK

ECSTATIC Zara Phillips insists she has no regrets at narrowly missing out on Olympic gold after helping Great Britain’s equestrians claim a superb silver medal in the team eventing yesterday.

The Queen’s grand-daughter, Mary King, William Fox-Pitt, Nicola Wilson and Tina Cook held off a challenge from New Zealand to finish behind the favourites, Germany, led by the imperious Michael Jung.

King, 51, Cook and Phillips went on to fifth, sixth and eighth respectively in the individual event as Jung added the London 2012 title to his world and European championships.

Phillips’s jumping errors – felling one fence and three time penalties – ultimately proved the difference between gold and silver for Britain but, despite initially being upset, she declared her delight at grabbing Team GB’s second silver medals.

“It is huge to get an Olympic medal and we were against some really tough competition,” she said. “You cannot think what could have been, it is too late for that.

“I messed up at the start but I told myself I had to get on with it. I’m really proud of the way my horse [High Kingdom] went.”

Cook held her nerve to jump clear aboard Miners Frolic, with whom she won double bronze at the Beijing Games four years ago, collecting just one time penalty to cement Britain’s second place.

“It was mind over matter, although now I’ve finished I’m so frustrated that I had a time fault and have dropped down to fourth individually,” said Cook, who slipped a further place in the individual competition.

By the time Cook emerged for her decisive jumps, Germany already gold with flawless runs from Jung, Dirk Schrade and Sandra Auffarth leaving them with a score of 133.70.

Stalwarts Fox-Pitt and King lived up to their billing with perfect outings as Britain ended on 138.20, ahead of New Zealand 144.40, who overtook Sweden on a gripping final day.

King, reflecting on a third medal and her sixth Games, called the triumph her “best so far”. She added: “I feel it is my best performance yet in an Olympics. The standard out there is creeping up all the time.”

“Next I will have to get a gold for my collection. We will just have to keep working away for the next four years, so Rio [2016] here we come.”

Coach Chris Bartle said: “When we arrived here I told all of them to shut their eyes and dream about a medal around their necks. But that this really happened is unbelievable.”