Zara on the Hot Seat: European Eventing Champion Blogs from Competition Site

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Ok: the tendons are tight, no sign of the old injury. The ground is (hopefully) neither too hard or too soft. It was a wise decision to fly out to Italy from England instead of driving, especially since a new outbreak of foot and mouth disease is stopping livestock movements in the UK.

Eventing superstar Zara Phillips is ready to ride Toytown and defend their title in the European Eventing Championships, which begin today at the Federal Equestian Center of Pratoni del Vivaro in Rocca di Papa (Rome) in Italy. She'll have to face Bettina Hoy and Ingrid Klimke and four other Germans, plus the finesse of the French and the dark horses of the Swedes...and all the rest.

The news today: all the horses passed the first vet check. Today is the first day of dressage. The Germans are expected to rule today; Zara rides on Friday.

Photo links to the Telegraph.