Finishes Third in Charity Horse Race
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Britain’s Princess Anne, a former Olympic horsewoman, donned orange and white racing silks and charged her mount from back in the pack to a third- place finish in a charity race Friday.
Although a horse named Double Bill finished first in the British Airways Invitational turf race, the real winner was the Save the Children Fund, which received a check for $25,000 after the ride. Princess Anne has been president of the charity in Britain for 17 years.
The princess, riding a 4-year-old gelding named Abbreviation, raced 10th in the early going of the 2-mile, 15-horse race, moved up to eighth at the one- mile point, then drew up quickly in the last half-mile to finish third.
A cheer rose from the crowd of about 7,000 as the field charged into the stretch at Percy Warner Park and the race announcer said the princess had moved into third place.
″It was a fantastic ride,″ said David Nicholson, the princess’ trainer. ″The horse and jockey ran superbly and stayed on it well. She didn’t get the best of starts, but that might have been a blessing in disguise. It allowed her to ride from behind and improve the whole race. It exceeded everyone’s expectations.″
Double Bill, ridden by Louis Nielson of Philadelphia, finished 1 lengths ahead of Abbreviation and about three-fourths of a length in front of Translucid, with a time of 3:31 1-5.
After the race, held against a backdrop of fall foliage and rolling hills, Princess Anne smiled broadly and patted her mount, unsaddled Abbreviation and went to weigh in with the other jockeys.
The princess returned to the track and watched the other races from a box seat covered with a purple and red canopy.
Princess Anne later accepted a check for $25,000 for the Save the Children Fund from the International Steeplechase Group, sponsor of the four-race Royal Chase.
Security guards, the Secret Service and Scotland Yard kept the crowd several feet from the princess, who did not speak to reporters.
The princess flew into Nashville Wednesday night, exercised Abbreviation Thursday morning and attended a party Thursday night, and was flying back to Britain on Friday night.