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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Phillips reveals eventing doubts
Zara Phillips with Toytown at the Burghley Horse Trials
Phillips paraded with Toytown at the Burghley Horse Trials
Zara Phillips considered quitting three-day eventing just months before becoming Britain's first individual world champion for 20 years.

"Back in the spring, things were going badly, I was riding badly and I thought about giving up, I was so depressed," she said at the Burghley Horse Trials.

"Then I went on holiday and took advice from Pippa Funnell. She motivated me and told me to do something different.

"Eventually, things got better and I was able to focus on the World Games."

Among a run of disappointing form was a day at Belton Horse Trials in early April where Phillips took three horses.

She fell from Ardfield Magic Star, finished with a heavy score of 129 penalties on Red Baron and made five showjumping mistakes with Toytown.

My grandmother was watching on interactive television, and she rang me to say 'well done'

Phillips reveals how the Queen enjoyed her success

But a pep talk from Olympic-medallist Funnell had the desired effect despite Phillips then suffering a bereavement when her great friend, Irish rider Sherelle Duke, was killed in a freak fall at a horse trials in Hampshire.

"It was a massive shock," admitted Phillips, "Sherelle was a very special person. The other riders were immensely supportive.

"I felt Sherelle was up there urging me to go on and do my best. I owed it to her."

The 25-year-old went on to add the world title to her European crown last month on Toytown.

"I haven't really come down to earth since winning at the World Games," she added

Phillips revealed at the end of the showjumping in Aachen, it took her a few moments to realise she had won, though grandmother, the Queen, was quicker off the mark.

"My grandmother was watching on interactive television, and she rang me to say 'well done'," she said.

She also paid tribute to the support she received from her partner, England rugby centre Mike Tindall.

"He gave me a lot of confidence and was a major support," she said.



SEE ALSO
Phillips sets sights on Olympics
28 Aug 06 |  Equestrian
Brilliant Phillips storms to gold
27 Aug 06 |  Equestrian
Equestrian UK results
12 Oct 00 |  Equestrian
Calendar
17 Oct 00 |  Equestrian


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