King off to Kentucky

World Equestrian Games news

MARY King flies out to Kentucky today to bid for a gold medal on the British event team in the World Equestrian Games.

Her horse, Imperial Cavalier flew out from Liege in Belgium on Wednesday and is currently in quarantine with the other GB horses at Cincinnati airport before making the 45 minute trip to the Kentucky horse park where the event is being held.

Mary King drove Imperial Cavalier, plus Tina Cook’s Miners Frolic and William Fox-Pitt’s Cool Mountain in her lorry to Liege. She said: “I just can’t wait; I’ve been looking forward to this for years. My groom, Jodie Summer, is beside herself with excitement as this is her first trip abroad with a team.”

World Class Performance Manager (Eventing) Yogi Breisner added: “We have a very exciting team with a nice balance between experience and youth in terms of riders and horses. We know the venue well, it’s a wonderful place.”

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The competition starts on Thurs, September 30 with two days of dressage, the cross-country phase takes place on Saturday and the final show jumping phase on October 3.

MARY King has had a great start to Burghley Horse Trials having already completed her dressage on Apache Sauce with King’s Temptress still to go today (Friday, 4.07pm).

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She was leading the competition as the Herald went to press with a score of 44.8, after the consistent Apache put in the best performance of his career.

She said: “I went quite early so am not expecting to stay in the lead. It was a lovely sunny morning and he was very calm and obedient. Unfortunately I made an error of course and had to redo a movement but, although I lost two marks for that, the changes he did second time around were much better so he could have picked up there.”

Mary was looking forward to the cross country on Saturday as both horses are experienced advanced campaigners. Apache Sauce has previously been fourth at Burghley and is in good form this season.

? Burghley Horse Trials are on BBC 2 on Sunday, 2.05pm.

MARY King admits it’s a case of horses for courses ahead of her trip to the Burghley Horse Trials – but the Olympic silver medallist insists she be all guns blazing in Lincolnshire.

The 49-year-old will compete at Burghley, the penultimate leg of the HSBC FEI Classics series, bidding to recapture the title for the first time since 1996 against the cream of the three-day eventing crop.

King will take horses Apache Sauce and King’s Temptress with her to Burghley, but will leave Imperial Cavalier – the pick of her stable – wrapped in cotton wool.

The World Equestrian Games are set to take place just three weeks after Burghley in Kentucky where King will bid to add to her four team gold medals.

As a result, Imperial Cavalier will not be risked, but King is adamant that does not mean she will be merely going through the motions at Burghley.

“I am really looking forward to getting out at Burghley – it is one of my favourite competitions,” said King.

“I am not riding Imperial Cavalier there because we are off to Kentucky for the World Equestrian Games and I wanted to keep him in pristine shape.

“I have been at Burghley a few times and had relative success there and even though my focus would be mainly on the World Games, I am still looking to go there and have a good run out.

“The good thing is that both the horses have been to Burghley before and both have had relatively good success there and that bodes well.

“I suppose I would like to get into the top 10 with both horses – that would be a great performance. I think I am unlikely to win it, but you never know what will happen and hopefully I can surprise myself.”

King heads to Burghley in impressive form, having finished third at the British Open at Gatcombe on Apache Sauce and hopes to arrive in Kentucky with more success under her belt.

With four World Championship medals to her name and a bronze from Beijing 2008 to go with her Athens 2004 silver, King already has a bulging trophy cabinet.

But with less than two years to go until the London 2012 Olympics, King insists she has no intentions of slowing down just yet.

“Everything I do is working towards London 2012 and, even though I have been to a few Olympics, I am really excited every time they come around,” she added.

“I have been lucky enough to go to five Olympics but I am being greedy and aiming for a sixth.

“I have won a silver and a bronze at the Olympics, but never a gold and I would love to do that on home soil.”

The HSBC FEI Classics� unites the top end of the international eventing circuit - namely the five four-star competitions across the world.

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is the penultimate event in the HSBC FEI Classics�.


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