Mother and daughter duo Mary and Emily King head to The Festival of British Eventing 2017

Mary and Emily King in the yard. Ref shs 16-16TI 9210. Picture: Terry Ife

Mary and Emily King in the yard. Ref shs 16-16TI 9210. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

This coming weekend Sidmouth-based mother-and-daughter duo Mary and Emily King will be competing at The Festival of British Eventing presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) which takes place from Friday through to Sunday (August 4 to 6) at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire.

Olympian Mary, who was honoured with the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to equestrianism, is a four-time British Open Champion, will compete on her 16.3hh gelding King Bill in The Dodson and Horrell British Novice Championship, while her daughter Emily rides 16.2hh gelding Dargun in The British Open Championship CIC3*, incorporating the Event Rider Masters which sees many top horse and rider combinations keen to win this prestigious title.

The Festival takes place over three days in the spectacular setting of Gatcombe, home of HRH The Princess Royal.

The Festival hosts four prestigious Championships; The British Open Championship CIC3*, incorporating the Event Rider Masters; The Smith and Williamson British Intermediate Championship; The Dodson and Horrell British Novice Championship and The TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup, the British Amateur Championship as well as The Neptune Trophy for Advanced Horses.

These classes will see leading event riders, including previous winners Christopher Burton, Sir Mark Todd, Oliver Townend and Pippa Funnell and home favourite Zara Tindall pitted against each other in an attempt to lift these illustrious trophies.

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Tim Henson, Event Director, said: “We are delighted that both Mary and Emily are competing at this year’s Festival, it is great to see mother and daughter competing together. It looks like a very competitive weekend and we wish all competitors the best of luck.”

New and exciting arena attractions will also keep audiences entertained; the spectacular Atkinson Action Horses will thrill the crowds with their high energy, explosive breath taking show. As will Valegro, the world’s greatest ever dressage horse who will be making a ‘star’ appearance on Sunday, August 6.

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Valegro who has risen to a celebrity status far beyond any other horse in recent history will be parading in hand to give his fans an opportunity to soak up his electrifying presence.

As well as these new and exciting attractions The Festival favourites will once again return with the thrilling Shetland Pony Grand National, the beautiful Dressage to Music Display and ever popular Hound Parade and The Pony Club Mounted Games.

The Festival is well known for its shopping and this year is no exception. The tented village will see over 120 exhibitors selling products from Land Rovers to bespoke jewellery and everything you, your horse or dog could desire! The Rural Crafts tent is not to be missed, offering inspiring gift ideas for both home and garden as well as a variety of food on offer to keep everyone in the family happy.

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