King close to $150,000 prize

Mary King holds a 13 point lead over William Fox Pitt in the HSBC FEI Classics rankings with just one three day event in the series left.

With the winner in line for a $150,000 prize, King will be keen to keep the consistent form she has shown this season, while still keeping her horses in line for Olympic selection next year.

She looks set to take the top prize as Fox-Pitt will have to win at Pau, in France, and Mary finish eighth or lower to overtake her.

She said: “Even if he came second, and I didn’t ride there I would win, but I can’t risk not going as he is in such blistering form that you can’t rule out a Fox-Pitt victory!”

King will be riding Imperial Cavalier who is back in work following his fall in the European championships in Luhmuhlen, and the pair will have a run out at the South of England horse trials in a fortnight’s time, prior to setting out for Pau.

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In the British Eventing Top 20 overall points rankings King is currently fifth behind Andrew Nicholson, William Fox Pitt, Oliver Townend and Piggy French.

This weekend, Mary is competing at Gatcombe on MHS King Joules while her daughter Emily King, 15, will ride Everys King.

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The same two horses, plus Imperial Cavalier, will then run at the South of England HT.

Mary and Emily are featured in this week’s Horse and Hound magazine as the first mother and daughter to be in GB teams at European championships.

Mary took time out last weekend to support Emily, in Portugal as she was representing GB for the first time in the U18 squad at the Junior european Championships.

Emily had a dream start on Mr Hiho and led after the dressage phase and, after a foot perfect cross country round, maintained the lead going into the final day. She had a fence in hand but scores were so close that just two fences down dropped her out of the medals to seventh place.

Mary said:” It was a huge experience for her, the real highs and lows and she will have learned from it. She had a bit of a lead and then there were a whole bunch of riders on similar scores. She rode very quietly in the showjumping, which I guess was the pressure getting to her, and the poles rolled. It was a shame, but, if you had told her before she went that she would finish seventh, she would have been over the moon.

“What was pleasing was the she rode a great dressage test and looks very classy cross country. In fact, all the GB riders looked good cross country.”

Zoe Brenan, 18, took the individual gold title with her ride Latino K having been in bronze position going into the showjumping phase.

Five of the six squad members finished in the top ten with only two poles and two time faults in the showjumping round between them Chef d’equipe Ginnie Keen said of the Juniors’ success: “I am so proud of all of our riders, they were brilliant at keeping cool heads in a very tight situation since there were very few penalties separating the top 20. The entire squad worked well together.”

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