Town parade to honour King
OLYMPIC silver medallist Mary King says she wants to repay East Devon’s support by riding through Sidmouth during an unprecedented civic occasion organised in her honour, writes Stefan Gordon.
It is hoped thousands of people will line the streets on Friday (August 17) and cheer on the silver medallist and Imperial Cavalier as they parade through the town.
An open top bus with King’s family, friends and support team on board will follow closely behind.
The 51-year-old, who won her third Olympic medal in London at her sixth Games, told the Herald this week: “It’s very extraordinary really - just lovely. I know I’ve got a lot of followers in the area that would have no chance to see me on my horse and have read about me for many years.
“By me coming to them, I’m paying them back for their support and letting them see Imperial Cavalier in all his splendour. I’m sure he will be proud.”
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The parade, organised by Sidmouth Town Council, will leave from Radway at 6.30pm, head down High Street, Fore Street, across The Esplanade and up Station Road to the Three Cornered Plot and then to Kennaway House.
Civic leaders will welcome and congratulate King on the steps of the Coburg Road venue – and hope a huge crowd of well-wishers will follow suit.
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“This is unprecedented and the first time we’ve had this type of thing,” said town council chairman Stuart Hughes.
“Mary King and her horse both deserve a heroes’ welcome.
“It’s to say well done to them for flying the flag for Sidmouth and East Devon.
“She’s done so well and her success will encourage a lot of youngsters to take up riding and eventing.
“We want as many people as possible to turn out, wave flags and cheer her and Imperial Cavalier along.”
Councillor Hughes added: “In these difficult times and with many pressures locally too, the Olympics have given people something to smile about, something to get involved in, whether attending or watching on the television. This is East Devon’s chance to celebrate.”
? See a picture gallery of Mary and her horse - visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk