Bittersweet silver win for Mary and Jodie

MARY King has told of her joy at winning an Olympic silver medal for her head groom – former Sidmouth College student Jodie Summers.

Jodie, 26, will be on board an open top bus full of friends, family and colleagues behind Mary as she parades through the town atop Imperial Cavalier this evening.

Jodie has spent the last five years accompanying the star eventer and her horse Imperial Cavalier up and down the country, and across the globe, caring for the needs of the pair both at home and away.

But their tight-knit partnership is about to end because Jodie is pregnant with her first baby and has made the tough decision to walk away from the horses.

Six-time Olympian Mary, 51, who took her Games medal tally to three in London, said the globally-watched 2012 event had been an emotional one for Jodie because it was her last.

Mum-of-two Mary said winning a silver medal riding Imperial Cavalier in the team eventing competition had been a fitting way to mark Jodie’s departure.

She added Jodie shed many tears during and after the competition.

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“She drove back home in floods of tears. It was a very emotional time for her, saying goodbye to everybody and driving home with Archie (Imperial Cavalier), but it was a wonderful end,” said Mary.

“I am glad I won the silver medal for her.”

Jodie said: “I cried the whole way through. I was thinking ‘this will be the last time I plait Archie’.

“To get to the Olympics was just amazing. It was overwhelming really. That’s why I kept crying every five minutes. For me, I couldn’t finish on any other high.”

Jodie said her five-year stint in an ‘amazing job’ had meant to end after a year or two - and working for Mary had been a ‘dream’ since she was a young girl.

She added: “I used to watch them all on TV when I was little. I never dared to dream I would actually do it.

“It’s a lifestyle, that’s the hardest thing about giving it up. The horses are not mine but I view them as my own. I will really miss them, and Mary.”