Zara Phillips, granddaughter of the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II and a cousin of Prince William, has been tapped to be part of the British Olympic equestrian team, which will compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer.
The 31-year-old, who is 14th in line for the throne, is one of five people the British Equestrian Federation had nominated, along with William Fox-Pitt, Mary King and Tina Cook and Piggy French.The British Olympic Association (BOA) must review the nods before the group is selected officially.
Phillips has never competed in the Olympics before. She had skipped the queen's Diamond Jubilee last week so she could compete at the International Horse Trials with her horse, a thoroughbred, named High Kingdom, and had placed third in an eventing trial, a three-part event that combines show jumping, cross country and dressage.
"High Kingdom is a pretty cool, very relaxed kind of guy. I was really happy with him at Bramham as he'd obviously grown up and is improving all the time," Phillips said in a statement released by the British Equestrian Federation on Monday. "He's pretty pony like, a nippy little jumper and easy to maneuver.""It's awesome to be given this opportunity," she added. "I'm really excited and can't wait to kick on and get him there - hopefully we will make it this time."
Phillips was supposed to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a horse named Toytown but had to back out after the animal suffered an injury weeks before the event. She brought him out of retirement in May and rode him while carrying the Olympic torch at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Torch Relay at a UK racecourse.
Her parents are also champion riders. Her mother Princess Anne - William's aunt - and competed at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, while Phillips' father, Mark, was on the British Olympic equestrian team at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, taking home the gold. He also won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games take place between July 25 and August 12.
(Pictured above: Zara Phillips carries the Olympic Flame through Cheltenham Racecourse on her horse Toytown on May 23, 2012. / Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall leave the wedding reception for Prince William and Kate Middleton in London on Friday, April 29, 2011. Phillips and Tindall married that July.