Most Canadians are generally fond of the British Royal Family, and many Canadian horse owners and riders are even fonder of Zara Tindall MBE (formerly Phillips) and her mum, Princess Anne, in particular. Both women represented their country at the Olympics in three-day eventing; Anne competed at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and Zara at the 2012 London Olympics.
Neither Zara, 39, nor her brother Peter Phillips (who recently separated from his wife, Canadian Autumn Kelly) have a title due to their mother’s request after their birth, but that hasn’t stopped either from having success on a global scale. Zara was the Eventing World Champion in 2006 and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year. She won team silver at the London Olympics in 2012, where her mother presented her with the medal.
Suffice to say that both mother and daughter are “horse mad.” And recently Zara has teamed up with her mum in supporting World Horse Welfare, a non-profit “that works to improve the lives of horses and horse-human partnerships in all of its guises.”
Founded in 1927, WHW is involved in every aspect of equine care, from third-world countries who rely on horses to work in agriculture and other areas for survival, to high performance sport and breeding. The organization has mounted successful campaigns to change and create legislation to improve horse’s lives as well as advocating for equine welfare throughout the world.
Princess Anne is the president of the organization and Zara has now become patron. The younger royal recognizes “you have to care for your equestrian partner,” CEO Roly Owers tells People magazine. “She knows to her own cost; horses can get injured. Previously she has missed out on major championships because of her horse going lame. She is very driven and able and has a great love of it. The difference from equestrian sport — and she embodies it very well — is that you have to be very driven, but you have to be mindful that you’ve got an equestrian partner that needs taking great care of.”
Not to be outdone, Zara’s husband Mike, a former England rugby international star and member of the World Cup-winning squad in 2003), raised nearly $1 million this summer cycling for Cure Parkinson’s – a cause close to his heart since his own father’s diagnosis.