King ready for Badminton challenge

MARY King is set for a hectic week as she has two horses competing at Badminton this weekend and two in Lexington, Kentucky, USA next weekend.

She drove King’s Temptress and Fern Hill Urco up to Stansted airport on Tuesday, for a 9pm flight to America, and returned overnight to load the lorry with Imperial Cavalier and Apache Sauce to travel to Badminton Horse trials on Wednesday morning.

The competitors briefing takes place on Thursday along with the veterinary inspection and trot up, with Apache Sauce competing in the dressage phase on Friday morning.

Imperial Cavalier competes on Saturday afternoon, one of the busiest sessions. “He will be so lively with a big crowd there,” said Mary. “He will probably be difficult to ride, but I will just have to get on with it.”

Preparations for all four horses have gone smoothly and, says Mary, all are fit and ready to ‘go for it’.

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She returns home from Badminton on Monday night, and has a quick turn around to pick up clothes and catch a Heathrow flight at 7am on Tuesday, ready to compete at Lexington on Thursday.

This year the dressage is on Friday and Saturday, the cross country on Easter Sunday and the final showjumping on the Monday.

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Daughter Emily King had the chance to win her U21 OI class at Belton on Mr Hi Ho but had three showjumps down - Mary said:”She made a small mistake at the first part of a treble. The horse tried his best to correct himself but had all three elements down which was a shame as they had a cracking dressage score. He was clear cross country and they will be having another bash at an U21 OI soon.”

Hi Ho are hoping to continue their sponsorship of Emily in some form once they have sorted their business problems out. While the shops have discontinued trading after being hit hard by the bad weather before Christmas, it is hoped that the online and tradestand part of the business has been saved.

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