MY COUN­TRY­SIDE

The eques­trian and grand­daugh­ter of the Queen on her fam­ily fes­tiv­i­ties and tra­di­tions

Country Living (UK) - - Contents -

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

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