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Last Updated: Monday, 28 August 2006, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Royal Zara dedicates win to rider
Zara Phillips
Zara Phillips pictured after her emotional win in Aachen, Germany
Zara Phillips has dedicated her World Three-Day event victory to her friend Sherelle Duke, who died last week.

The Portadown rider, 28, died when her horse fell on her at a cross-country event in Southampton.

The Queen's granddaughter, 25, said: "I went out today to do it for a friend of mine who died a week ago today and to try and get her a gold medal.

"I was just so relieved that I managed to give that to her, because we didn't manage to go over and say goodbye."

Miss Duke was laid to rest on Friday at Mullavilly Churchyard.

Her boyfriend, Ross McCandless, had earlier told mourners at Portadown Baptist Church on Friday of his "undying love" for the former World Young Rider Champion.

Among the mourners were senior Dublin politicians and Zara Phillips's brother Peter.

Portadown equestrian rider Sherelle Duke
Sherelle Duke was killed when her horse toppled on top of her
A rider's hat was on top of the coffin as it was brought into the church by mourners.

Miss Duke was a member of the Irish equestrian team in the 2003 European Championships.

Her family is well-known in the Portadown area and in the business world after setting up the Dukes Transport Company.

For years she rode in the company's colours of red and white.

The whole team of the British and Irish took Sherelle's colours of red and white and had a little ribbon on their lapels throughout the competition
Ruth Loney
Equestrian journalist
Equestrian journalist Ruth Loney told the BBC's Talkback programme that Zara's brother Peter Phillips had attended Sherelle's funeral on Friday.

"Zara was devastated when the accident happened, but the team were already in Germany preparing for the world championships," she said.

"The whole team of the British and Irish took Sherelle's colours of red and white and had a little ribbon on their lapels throughout the competition."

The journalist said Zara's mount, Toytown, was a "very honest Irish horse" which had been bought "very cheaply by (her father) Mark Phillips".

Zara is the daughter of the Princess Royal and her former husband Captain Mark Phillips.

Her win in Aachen, Germany, means she has eclipsed the riding exploits of her parents, neither of whom won a world title.

She is now second-favourite with some bookmakers to win the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year, behind Andy Murray but ahead of Monty Panesar, Steven Gerrard and David Walliams.


SEE ALSO
Brilliant Phillips storms to gold
27 Aug 06 |  Equestrian
Emotional farewell to horse rider
25 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland
NI rider is killed during event
21 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland



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