Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Olympic medallist event rider Mary King is among eight former winners of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy vying to again bring home the Badminton Horse Trials silver this weekend, writes Becca Gliddon.
British favourite Mary, from Salcombe Regis, near Sidmouth, will ride 16-year-old 16.2hh Imperial Cavalier (Archie), who has competed at Badminton on four occasions, coming third and fourth in the past.
Up against Mary are competitors from 14 other nations, with a major focus being selection for the World Equestrian Games, Normandie this summer.
Mary said competing at Badminton was a ‘privilege’.
She said: “I feel very lucky to have a horse who is ready to go there. Archie, who’s my Olympic silver medallist, is very, very experienced.
“Hopefully the course will suit him. The rumour is, it’s very big and bold this year.
“But Archie is a very big and bold horse and I am really looking forward to it.”
Fans of Mary can meet their hero when she signs autographs at her sponsor Ascot Building’s stand at 10am on Thursday, May 8, and at 11am on Sunday, May 11.
The competition, which attracts thousands of spectators, is held on the Duke of Beaufort’s estate in Gloucestershire.
Saturday’s cross country course has a new designer - Giuseppe della Chiesa – who was appointed by the Duke of Beaufort and event director Hugh Thomas.
The 80-plus riders taking part in the event will be vying to win £80,000, up from £65,000 in 2013.
Follow Mary’s Badminton Horse Trials progress at www.badminton-horse.co.uk or through Facebook.