King's Sweetheart Grows Up
Horse & Hound|July 30, 2020
King's Sweetheart Grows Up
Mary King scores a win with a slow-maturing home-bred, while Kitty King’s on-form greys land a one-two
Julie Harding

Bicton Arena (2), Devon

MARY KING scored a local win when she captured open intermediate (OI) section Q with King Robert II.

“I haven’t won at Bicton for years,” confessed the Sidmouth rider, who led the dressage on 24.8. “The ground was good, so I thought I would go fast, but not flat out.”

King Robert is home-bred, out of Kings Temptress and by Chilli Morning, whom Mary briefly competed before passing the stallion to William Fox-Pitt. “Bobby” was eighth in the CCI4*-S at Tattersalls last year, but has also had some more patchy form.

“With my neck issues, I haven’t been riding that well,” said Mary, who suffers from cervical dystonia – neck muscle contractions which cause her head to involuntarily turn to the left – and also added that Bobby has been a late-maturing horse.

“He’s 10, and a big, rangy sort, and he only feels like he’s getting stronger this year. I’ve never had such a slow developer, but he’s an absolute sweetheart – such a kind and gentle horse and so polite when he’s being ridden.”

Mary’s stables are now almost exclusively filled with home-bred and she admitted that she spent many happy hours working on their education during lockdown

“I would truck along with the youngsters in the morning and then go to the beach in the afternoon,” she laughed. “Because no one else was competing, I didn’t miss eventing at all.”

KITTY KING KEEPS UP HER FORM

THE advanced intermediate (AI) turned out to be something of a Kitty King benefit, the Wiltshire-based rider pulling off an impressive one-two aboard French-bred horses in elite company. She credited her lockdown training schedule as being partly responsible for her success, which included three victories from eight runners over the three days of this popular West Country event.

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July 30, 2020