Zara Phillips has given up the ride on the 12-year-old advanced eventer Poilu, who was fifth at Burghley last year with Clayton Fredericks. World champion Zara had Bridget and Simon Hall's horse in her yard at the start of this season and rode him at two events, but the ride has now passed to fellow British rider Chris King.
Chris had his first run on Poilu at Aston-le-Walls open intermediate (pictured) last week. They scored 35.5 in the dressage, had eight showjumping penalties and went clear across country with 10.4 time-penalties. Chris and Poilu are entered for the CIC*** at the Subaru Houghton Horse Trials (26-30 May).
Poilu, who is by Fearless Action, was produced by the Fredericks and also had a few runs with his owner Simon Hall in his six-year-old year. He finished 11th at Boekelo in 1008 and 10th at Saumur in 2009 with Clayton — he was in line for a better placing at Saumur but his showjumping let him down and he had 20 faults — before going on to finish fifth at Burghley.
Chris King, 33, is based near Chippenham with his fiancée Zanie Tanswell. He won Blenheim and Barbury in 2007 on The Secret Weapon, and has completed both Badminton and Burghley, most notably finishing 13th at Badminton 2004 on Miss De Meena IV.
Photo: Chris King and Poilu, Courtesy of Horse & Hound