Horse trials get Royal seal of approval

The water jumps were obvious attractions
The water jumps were obvious attractions
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There was no room for horsing around as three days of equestrian action took over Chatsworth Estate.

Olympian and Royal family member Zara Phillips was among the top riders showing off their talents as the North Derbyshire landmark stately home played host to the Dodson and Horrell International Horse Trials.

The Queen’s eldest granddaughter was joined by fellow medal-winners Nicola Wilson and William Fox-Pitt who kept the spirit of London 2012 alive at the annual competition.

Zara rode High Kingdom – the same horse she was on when her five-strong team won silver at last summer’s Games – in the novice class on the third day of the event.

Organisers breathed a sigh of relief as the heavy rain which forced them to cancel last year’s event held off, ensuring a spectacular show.

The right royal affair proved another huge success for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, who welcomed visitors in their thousands.

Rider Andrew Nicholson was the big winner of the main challenge, cruising to victory on aptly-named horse Mr Cruise Control.

For those without a passion for all things equine there were trade stalls selling the finest local produce, activities and plenty of family fun on offer at the estate, farmyard and house.

A spokeswoman for Dodson and Horrell International Horse Trials said: “It went extremely well, and there was a large crowd of people watching on all three days which made for a fantastic atmosphere.”