Royal breakthrough: How Princess Anne was behind huge Olympic rule-change

Anne has been a horse-riding enthusiast for her entire life, taking after her mother the Queen, so it is no surprise that she began competing to showcase her skills when she was young. She became so successful in the field that she was voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year back in 1971. Anne even became the president of the International Federation for Equestrian Spots for six years, from 1986 to 1994.

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She was the first member of the Royal Family to compete in the Olympics Games and took part in the dressage competition.

While she did not take home any medals, she was the only woman not to go under the gender-testing that year.

According to Reuters in 2009, Anne was “excused from the gender test at the 1976 Montreal Olympics”.

Topend Sports reported that it was seen as “inappropriate” for the daughter of the Queen to undergo such testing.

Additionally, men and women compete against one another in equestrian competitions so the test has less significance.

Princess AnnePrincess Anne (Image: Getty)

Princess Anne news: The Princess Royal at the 1976 Olympic Games in MontrealPrincess Anne news: The Princess Royal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal (Image: Getty)

Although she did not take home any medals during that competition, she did win two silver medals and a gold medal at the European Eventing Championships in the Seventies.

Then in a country horse competition in April 1976, she was thrown from her horse and subsequently seriously injured.

Her then-husband Captain Mark Phillips took her to hospital.

According to The New York Times in 1976: “Her fitness has been in doubt since she was thrown from a horse last month and suffered a hairline fracture of a vertebra.”

Yet Anne recovered enough to compete that year.

Anne's first husband Captain Phillips is also a passionate horse-lover and he secured Olympic gold medals for his equestrian skills in 1968.

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Princess Anne news: The royal was even recognised as BBC Sports Personality of the year in 1971Princess Anne news: The royal was even recognised as

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