The equestrian and granddaughter of the Queen on her family festivities and traditions
Zara Tindall 194
I’ve always lived in Gloucestershire and I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
When my husband Mike and I had our daughter Mia two years ago, it was the natural place to raise our family, close to my mother, and my brother Peter and his daughters. Mike also feels at home here, having played for two West Country rugby teams. Aside from the peace and quiet and the beauty that surrounds us, being in the countryside is also ideal for all my interests. My horses are stabled near to where we live, so I can easily go out and train them every day.
Most of my day focuses on horses.
Although exercising them is an essential part of my career, it’s also one of my greatest pleasures. It’s difficult to pick a favourite horse, but I do have great memories of Toytown, who was a chestnut gelding with a white blaze and white spots. I won two gold medals on him; also High Kingdom, who I rode in the 2012 Olympics. Mia is now nearly three, and has begun to potter about on Shetland ponies with her cousins. But whatever she wants to do in life, we’ll encourage her. Mike would probably like her to be a golfer so he can play more of it himself, but who knows!
When we don’t have to be somewhere, we are pretty low key.
It’s nice to go out with the dogs and explore the woods and fields that surround our house – I love the quiet and isolation of where we live. I enjoy cooking, so it’s nice to have time to do that as well. A lot of my socialising takes place at competitions during the eventing season, so I like the contrast of a quiet Saturday night at a local pub with friends.
I love the quiet and isolation of where we live
Competing has taken me all over the British countryside, which
means that I get to return to some of my favourite places year after year. I particularly enjoy going to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Stamford, Lincolnshire. It is such a beautiful setting and I’ve experienced many good times there as a competitor and spectator. Scotland is also a very special place for me. I spent much of my childhood at Balmoral playing with my cousins, and I also have fond memories of the Scottish Highlands, having gone to school up there, too. It was one of the reasons I was so keen to get married in Edinburgh.
Having all the generations of my family together at Christmas is my favourite part of the season.
It’s a time of year that is about being with people you love, great food and loads of games to play. We’re fairly traditional in our preparations for the holiday season. Horses are still involved of course, but they also get a bit of a rest at this time of year, too. I am sure Mia will enjoy decorating the tree and the house, and on Christmas Eve we’ll get the carrots and mince pies out for Father Christmas and the reindeer.
Christmas takes on new magic when you have children.
Mia will share this Christmas with lots of her cousins, some very close in age to her, and I think this year will be the one she really starts to understand it all. When we are at home, I’m looking forward to a quiet day or two with Mike and Mia, getting plenty of fresh air with the dogs, and then heading back home to a cosy fire and a movie.
Zara Tindall is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover has been at the heart of equestrian sport in the UK and around the world for over 30 years. To find out more, visit landrover.co.uk/equestrian.
FROM FAR LEFT With such a busy schedule, Zara likes nothing better than spending time with her horses and family in the Gloucestershire countryside