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Zara Chooses Martin Collins For Gatcombe Park
Minchinhampton, UK
Photo: Caroline Finch
Zara Phillips
Zara Phillips has entered into a partnership deal with Martin Collins Enterprises, the UK market-leader in synthetic riding surface innovation and supply, having recently taken delivery of a MCE Ecotrack arena. This is the first ever outdoor manege at Gatcombe Park.

The world three-day event champion joins a long list of MCE "ambassadors" including her father Captain Mark Phillips, show jumpers Michael and William Whitaker, Rodrigo Pessoa and Ben Maher, and dressage rider Emile Faurie.

MCE's wax-coated Ecotrack garnered additional international acclaim when used at the European show jumping and dressage championships at Windsor last year. Zara selected Ecotrack for her own dual-purpose use and has learned how to create optimum conditions for both disciplines using a purpose-made Martin Collins arena-master.

"The choice of surface was easy, for my father has a Martin Collins surface and I have jumped on it many times," said Zara. "I like the way it gives but does not move under the hoof, which gives a lot of confidence and security. I have heard the show jumpers say that Ecotrack gives you a bit more 'jump' - let's hope my horses feel the effects!"

To date, Zara has used the large indoor school at Gatcombe for the majority of her flatwork and jumping preparation. "I'm lucky to have it, especially this winter, but this means that by the time you are able to school outside, you are often only a few weeks from the first competition. The horses love the new manege and already I have seen a difference in their outlook, by not being hemmed in by the walls of the school.

"It's a shame the snow came when the manege was only partially completed; we would have been able to use it, because the Ecotrack hadn't frozen at all."

Glynnie Walford of Martin Collins said: "We are thrilled and very proud that Zara chose Ecotrack as the surface for her new outdoor school. Our collaboration with an event rider of her profile and expertise means a great deal to our company. The team at Martin Collins are very much looking forward to working with Zara over the next three years."

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