Build up to King's Olympic quest

Mary King is all set for another crack at an Olympic gold medal.

Mary King is all set for another crack at an Olympic gold medal. Her top horse, Call Again Cavalier, is favoured by the selectors as he is a model of consistency, and does not have to contest Badminton this year. The squad will be announced following the prestigious horse trials with team training taking place in mid June and at the beginning of July. The selected horses will then fly out to Hong Kong - where the equestrian events are taking place - on July 20 for pre-event quarantine - with the Olympics' opening ceremony on August 8. The horses will be based at Sha Tin racecourse, with the cross county taking place at a venue about an hour's drive away. A test three day event held last year ran smoothly. Mary has nine horses in training to event this year and had all of them entered to run at Aldon Horse Trials last weekend. However, the wet conditions meant that she only ran five of them and four of those only competed in the dressage and showjumping. Mary said: "They modified the cross country course on Sunday, taking some fences out, and changed the time to novice speed. But the rain really spoilt things as they were all ready to compete. Now I can't wait to get going!" The two novice horses King's Command and King's Rock were first and second on Tuesday at Moreton at pre-novice level and will be stepping up to novice on their next outing. Imperial Cavalier and Apache Sauce, Mary's other advanced rides, are being aimed at Badminton Horse Trials at the beginning of May. Call Again Cavalier will contest Burnham and Belton one day events - Mary is planning to take all three top horses to Burnham next weekend as well as King's Temptress for her first advanced run - before having a break over Badminton til mid May. He will then contest two more advanced one day events before going into quarantine. Next Tuesday Mary will be taking King's Fancy, King's Gem, King's Rock and King's Command to Somerley. l Mary's daughter Emily, 12, has contested her first BE eventing trials on Hillgrove Prince and her new horse King Joules. She completed double clears with both at intro level and finished fifth and sixth at Moreton. From back pageRegular readers will remember Emily persuading her grandma Jill to help her buy a horse at Le Lion D'Angers in France. Emily subsequently persuaded one of Mary's owners to buy the horse and he is now called King Joules, sponsored by clothing company Joules who are supporting the running costs for the horse and some training for Emily.Mary said: "Emily is delighted to finally be old enough to compete in the BE trials and Joules has turned out to be a lovely horse. He is a compact 16.1h with a really kind temperament. The pair of them will be aiming for Portman pre-novice next.

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