In London, 2 favorite pastimes, 1 pumped crowd

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 1, 2012 - 8:29 AM

Equestrian met royal-watching and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth gave Brits what they wanted by winning a silver medal.

hide

Fans cheer after Great Britain's Zara Phillips competed in the equestrian eventing individual show jumping phase on Tuesday. Phillips won a sliver medal.

Photo: David Goldman, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

LONDON - Daphne Anazodo doesn't usually follow equestrian sports. Unlike many of the other spectators at Greenwich Park on Tuesday, she was not decked out in tweeds or Wellington boots, nor did she have an opinion on whether the German rider took the proper approach to the jump that looked like the clipper ship Cutty Sark.

She came from the borough of Harrow in northwest London to engage in a completely different sport, one not on the Olympic program. "We won the tickets, so we're taking it all in," she said, as her partner and two sons took photos with a statue of the Olympic mascot. "And I'm quite keen on the royals."

Most Britons are equally fond of royal watching, which made the equestrian venue such a lively spot over the past few days. Zara Phillips -- daughter of Princess Anne and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth -- competed for her country in eventing, which combines dressage, a cross-country obstacle course and stadium jumping. Tuesday, she and her teammates won the silver medal in the team competition with plenty of her family in attendance.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- better known as Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton -- came to see Phillips and Team Great Britain in the stadium jumping portion of the event. So did the Princess Royal (Anne), the Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles' wife, Camilla) and Prince Harry. In a stadium filled with expensive horseflesh, where people with painted faces draped in Union Jacks stood cheek-to-jowl with the posh horsey set, Phillips became the first member of Britain's royal family to win an Olympic medal.

The equestrian venue might be the most thoroughly British site at the Games. It is set in London's oldest royal park, with the arena brushing up against the Old Royal Naval College and its twin domes designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The sport also evokes Britain's horse-loving culture and the country life that Britons treasure.

On Monday, Phillips helped put Great Britain in medal position with her clear round in the cross-country portion of the event, which drew 50,000 people to Greenwich Park. The scene resembled a major golf tournament, with people stacked 10 deep all along a grass course dotted with jumps and water hazards. The din grew so loud that Phillips said riders could not hear the stopwatches they use to time their ride.

The atmosphere at Tuesday's stadium jumping resembled golf, too. Most of the spectators knew the etiquette, which called for silence as each rider completed a course of jumps designed after British icons: Stonehenge, Trafalgar Square, and 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's residence. But the national pride occasionally caused a lapse in manners, as the announcer gently scolded a few who applauded when Germany's Peter Thomsen and his horse Barny knocked a rail down.

Four British riders competed, and the place was so hushed during their rounds that spectators could hear the heavy breath of the horses as they cleared each jump. There was a collective gasp as Phillips and her horse, High Kingdom, knocked down a rail, creating some drama. But teammate Mary King helped save the day.

Even the bobbies looked up to watch on the big outdoor screen as King guided Imperial Cavalier through a clear round, pumping a triumphant fist in the air while spectators let out a roar.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster," said Phillips, 31, whose father Mark won a gold medal in eventing at the 1972 Olympics. "I'm quite relieved. It's incredible."

It became even more so when Phillips was presented with her medal by her mother, who kissed her on both cheeks. These Games have not gone exactly as the Brits expected; some medal hopefuls such as cyclist Mark Cavendish and diver Tom Daley have flopped, and there still is anger over the seats left unfilled at arenas that were said to be sold out.

But as the royals were rushed out of the jumping stadium, shadowed by a mob of photographers, they added a bit of excitement to an Olympics that the Brits have warmed up to -- even on a chilly gray day. "It was great to see the Queen was part of the opening ceremony," Anazodo said. "And to see the royals here, too. It's a great atmosphere in London. We've got the eyes of the world on us."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close