Royalty and statesmen

The equestrian-loving duo laughed and joked together as they attempted to play golf on the icy nine-hole course in the Swiss Alps
Photo: Rex
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Novice golfer Zara, who is aiming for Olympic glory in August, couldn't resist the temptation of a little snowball practice - with watching photographers as her target
Photo: Rex

Ice cool Zara takes on Frankie at St Moritz snow golf championship

14 JANUARY 2008
He's a top jockey, she's an equestrian champ, but that didn't stop Frankie Dettori and Zara Phillips having a whale of a time as they indulged in a rather more unusual sporting activity. The fun-loving duo were chipping and putting in the snow at one of Switzerland's most luxurious ski resorts as they took part in what's billed as the world's coolest golf tournament.

Over 75 competitors from 12 countries descended on St Moritz over the weekend for the Chivas Snow Golf Championship, which involves hacking orange golf balls around a spectacular nine-hole course of packed ice. Looking the part in her black ski gear, the Queen's granddaughter swung into action in the shadow of the Corvatsch mountains and took time out to aim a few friendly snowballs at photographers.

The 26-year-old former Sports Personality Of The Year, who is dating rugby player Mike Tindall, found herself at the receiving end of some light-hearted teasing on the fairways. As she hit the icy course one Swiss journalist asked what she does as a British royal. According to The Sunday Times, Zara explained that she rides horses much of the time. "Not true. She rides around in a horse and carriage all day!" quipped Milan-born Frankie.

His teeing-off partner was clearly enthusiastic about attending the unusual event. "I am a novice golfer, but I'm looking forward to a new challenge and the odd snow golf lesson from the professionals," she said beforehand. "With the Olympics coming up 2008 is a big year for me and a few days in St Mortiz is a great start to my new year."

She was invited to take part in her capacity as the new sporting ambassador for whisky label Chivas, with whom she has signed a two-year sponsorship deal.