Equestrian legends Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Tindall have been left saddened to hear about the end of one of their much-loved horse events.
The organiser of the long-running Gatcombe Horse Trials, Pattie Biden, has announced that the event will be coming to an end, at Gatcombe at least, this year, after announcing her retirement from the event.
The Horse Trials have been an annual tradition for over 30 years, and have held a beloved place in Princess Anne's heart for years, as they have always been held at her beloved estate Gatcombe Park.
Gatcombe Park is the Princess's country residence, meaning the trials are normally just a hop, skip and a jump away from her front door.
And not only have the trials seen some fantastic talent, but each year they’ve brought together many of Anne and Zara's family and friends together for an enjoyable day out.
Anne, Zara, her husband Mike Tindall, and their daughter, Mia, are often pictured laughing together there, while Zara regularly competes herself.
The future of the autumn trials without organiser Pattie Biden remains unclear, but Princess Anne has been supportive of her decision to step down at the age of 62. Anne helped Pattie to design the courses and presents prizes to winners, so the pair have worked closely together over the years.
Following the news, Pattie told GloustershireLive, “The Princess has known since October. I said "Ma'am I think I need to retire'. She and I have been very good friends since we used to compete together so she understands.”
“I know the riders will be upset because we put on a good event but even though we have a very good team that has been with us for years, I can't keep going.”
She continued, "I expect I will be devastated when March comes around but you have to make a decision and stick to it no matter how much you dislike doing it,
"I will be very sad and I'm sure she [Princess Anne] will be too, but I'm getting on, and just can't hack it any more."
The 700-acre estate has been a popular attraction for many equestrians, and it’s famously the place where Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall began competing before going on to become an Olympic champion.
Zara has recently returned to riding after the birth of her daughter Lena Elizabeth Tindall, and with the news that her favourite event will be coming to an end, many are speculating where she’ll compete next. Although there are many events out there, the Gatcombe Horse Trials will be a great loss to its loyal attendees.
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Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.
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