Badminton Horse Trials glory bid by Emily King
- Credit: Archant
East Devon rider Emily King is hoping a strong showing at the Badminton Horse Trials will improve her chances of selection for the GB equestrian team for the Rio Olympics.
King has already been to three Olympics – Athens, Beijing and London –supporting mother Mary who helped Great Britain win a team medal each time.
Twenty-five years on from mum’s first win at Badminton, King junior is making her debut and at age 20 is the youngest competitor there. The Trials started on Wednesday and continue until Sunday.
Emily has made such impressive progress – her four-star bow in Pau last October produced an impressive fourth-placed finish aboard Badminton ride Brookleigh – that many eventing observers feel Rio selection is a possibility
“Since my result at Pau, I was put on the (selection) long list for Rio,” she said.
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“I was lucky enough to have a good result at Pau, but basically I need to go to Badminton and pretty much repeat what I did at Pau, if not better.
“I am really focusing on Badminton and trying to do the absolute best that I can. We will probably know ourselves after Badminton whether it (Rio) is a realistic target or not.
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“I went to Athens, Beijing and then London, so I have been quite lucky to see how it all happens behind the scenes and everything. My dream would be to compete for my country at the Olympics.”
Mary King competed at every Olympics from Barcelona in 1992 through to London four years ago.
In addition to three Olympic medals, her stellar career features four European team golds and one bronze, individual European silver and bronze, plus two world team gold and one silver.
The 54-year-old also won Badminton twice, Burghley in 1996 and the 2011 Rolex Kentucky four-star event, and while she remains a regular competitor on Britain’s eventing circuit, Badminton this time around will be all about supporting her daughter.
“I have been very fortunate having mum there to help me, but I am a very independent character,” said Emily, who is an ambassador for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, which is an immediate two-day prelude to Badminton next Tuesday and Wednesday.
“When I was younger, I couldn’t stand her teaching me, even though she is who she is! I used to think ‘she’s my mum, and she doesn’t know what she is talking about,’ but I would have got better a lot quicker if I had listened!
“We do our own thing with our horses. We share the same yard and we help each other out, but we don’t do everything together. The help is there if I need it, so I am very lucky.”