However, that hold proved too much yesterday, when the sticky mud saw her plummet down the leaderboard with her mount Lord Lauries.
The granddaughter of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was on her third visit to the venue and in second place before venturing out across the rolling fields yesterday, confident of repeating her 2011 win on the gelding, but the going dampened all hope of that.
“Unfortunately, Lord Lauries was not as ongoing as usual and picked up some time penalties, and he also had a run-out at a tricky brush fence over a ditch,” said event director Peter Fell. “But Zara wasn’t too downhearted and said that if she could she would definitely be back.”
The Olympic silver medallist, who is not one to stand on ceremony and enjoys the low-key approach of Ballindenisk, did not leave Cork empty handed, though, as local artist Tony O’Connor presented her with a pencil study of herself and Lord Lauries.