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Zara Phillips keen to get back in saddle after giving birth

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 27, 2013

  • Zara Phillips

  • Zara during the Olympics in 2012

  • Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at Prince George's christening

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Zara Phillips wants to get back in the competitive saddle next August, potentially seven months after giving birth.

Zara, The Queen’s granddaughter, said in an interview alongside husband Mike Tindall, that she wants to compete in the World Eventing Championship.

She also said her pregnancy came as a complete shock to her, affecting her eventing schedule and making her have to give up riding horses.

Interviewed by Australian Women’s Weekly, Mike, player coach with Gloucester Rugby, said: "It probably happened quicker than we thought – bit of a shock, really."

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But he admitted that once the surprise had worn off, they realised the timing was perfect.

With the child due in January, it means Zara, 32, will be on track to train for major eventing competitions next year.

Zara was criticised during the summer for riding during the early stages of her pregnancy and has since given up.

The 2012 Olympic silver medal winner said: "I have been riding, but it’s so uncomfortable. So, yes, I’m baking. I love cooking and will definitely cook for the baby."

But Zara, who lives at Gatcombe Park, insisted she will be back in the saddle after the birth.

She hopes to compete in the World Eventing Championship next August and will take her baby with her on the eventing circuit – just as her mother Princess Anne did after Zara was born.

The couple do not know if the baby is a boy or a girl.

Mike, 35, said: "We want it to be a surprise. I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m not sure how I’ve prepared. We’ve been pretty relaxed. We’ve not sorted a nursery yet.

"We have ordered some stuff, but we haven’t gone further than that. I think we’re both quite well-balanced and laid-back as a couple, so hopefully he or she will pick up on that."

Zara said pregnancy came much quicker than she expected and has disrupted her eventing schedule

Zara added: "I hope we’re going to make good parents – that’s the plan."

The couple also talked about the time Mike bought a racehorse, Monbeg Dude, with James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson at an auction five years ago for £12,000, without Zara knowing anything about it.

After the sale, Zara described him as an ‘idiot’ and she told the magazine: "I thought it was a stupid idea. But he got lucky and it’s worked out well.’ The horse is now worth more than £200,000.

Mike said he has come to appreciate the racing world through his wife.

He said:"Before I met Zara, I didn’t go to meets. I used to work at them on a fish and chip van at York races. But I like getting dressed up. It’s a fun day.”

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