Princess Royal calls for rider role

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The Independent Online

The Princess Royal yesterday expressed concern that too much responsibility is being taken away from the riders as the result of the four fatalities in British eventing last year.

Speaking in her role as President of the Windsor International Horse Trials, the Princess said: "Riders should be responsible for their own safety, they should be aware of their horses' capabilities and assess the risks."

Windsor celebrates its 21st birthday from 25 to 28 May with a new title sponsor in the internet company, Equestria.net. The event also has a new director in the Olympic course designer and Blenheim director, Mike Etherington-Smith. Blyth Tait, New Zealand's World and Olympic champion, and Pipa Funnell, the European champion, are among those expecting to take part.

Etherington-Smith has also designed the course for the Horse & Hound Bicton Horse Trials in Devon, where both Tait and Funnell are due to compete this weekend. Mary King will be riding her two Badminton entries, King Solomon III and Star Appeal, with whom she hopes to impress the Olympic selectors. William Fox-Pitt also rides his intended Badminton mounts, Moon Man and Stunning.

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