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Phil Vickery: British showjumping ambassador

Former England rugby captain and rugby union prop, Phil Vickery MBE, became an ambassador for British Showjumping in 2009. Having grown up in the Cornish countryside, Phil rode regularly throughout his childhood and following his retirement from professional rugby, Phil's enthusiasm for showjumping was reignited.

Phil has always enjoyed rural pursuits combined with an outdoor lifestyle "I grew up riding regularly but rugby took over. Now I'm in a position where I can spend time with horses again."

Phil retired from playing professional rugby in 2010 and he finished his career at London side, Wasps. Phil spent 4 years at Wasps and previous to this; he played for Gloucester for 11 years. During his career as a rugby player, Phil earned 73 Caps for England, 5 British & Irish Lions Caps and he captained England during the 2007 World Cup in France. Phil was also an integral member of the England team that won the 2003 World Cup in Australia. Phil's experiences mean that he knows what it takes to compete in a demanding sport "Unless people have experienced showjumping for themselves they don't realise the excitement and adrenalin rush that accompanies it.

"I was on the edge of my seat at Olympia. The sheer size of the fences, the power of the horses and the competitiveness of the riders is something that will appeal to people of all ages and interests. Showjumping really is a great sport and I couldn't be happier to be accepting this role within it."

As an ambassador for the sport, Phil supports the British Teams in their medal winning campaigns. Nicknamed the 'Raging Bull' by Sir Clive Woodward, Phil has also enjoyed the sport as a co-owner alongside Sharon Baldwin. Raging Bull Vangelis S was produced and ridden by Robert Smith and the combination racked up a number of wins in both National and International classes.

Phil lends his time to a number of charities, including The Pied Piper Appeal and Wooden Spoon. In February 2012, Phil was announced as the first ambassador of the Prince's Countryside Fund, the brainchild of the Prince of Wales. Phil was part of ITV Sport's team for their exclusive coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. In 2011, Phil was also crowned BBC Celebrity MasterChef Champion after beating journalist Kirsty Wark and actor Nick Pickard in the final.