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Zara, who rode four different horses during the Gatcombe Park Horse Trials at the weekend, is the current European and World Equestrian Champion
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Her brother Peter and his Canadian girlfriend Autumn were on hand to see Zara compete. Sources close to the pair say Princess Anne's son is thinking about proposing to his sweetheart of four years
Photo: © Rex

Horse-loving royals turn out to watch Zara in action

26 MARCH 2007

It was all hands on deck this weekend as equestrian-loving royals got stuck in for an action-packed day in Gloucestershire. While Sports Personality Of The Year Zara Phillips took part in the Gatcombe Park Horse Trials, her mum, Princess Anne, was only too happy to muck in on the course - helping fix a fence which came down during the day's eventing.

Zara's supportive boyfriend, rugby player Mike Tindall, her big brother Peter and his beautiful girlfriend of three years, Canadian-born Autumn Kelly, were also there to watch the sporty royal tackle the jumps. The close-knit family didn't have far to travel for the day out, though, as they all live in different properties on Anne's Gatcombe Park estate - which hosts the annual horse competition.

Despite their determination to keep the relationship as low-key as possible, 29-year-old Peter and Autumn, 31, are increasingly coming under scrutiny as the potential protagonists of the next royal wedding.

Sources close to the couple say they are likely to get engaged before Zara and Mike, or Prince William and Kate Middleton. "Peter knows Autumn is great for him. She loves him for himself and not because of his royal connections," says a friend of the pair. "Peter is still relatively young but he knows it is only a matter of time before he pops the question. It is certainly something he has been thinking about."

Autumn, who moved to Britain to be closer to her beau after they met at the 2003 Montreal Grand Prix, already has the approval of the Queen, who invited the former management consultant on her summer tour of the Western Isles last year.

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