Mary King set to retire Imperial Cavalier

09:29 15 May 2014

Mary King with Imperial Cavalier

Mary King with Imperial Cavalier

Archant

Mary King has announced she is to retire her Olympic medallist event horse, Imperial Cavalier this autumn, writes Becca Gliddon.

The pair bowed out of the 2014 Badminton Horse Trials, pulling out half way around Saturday’s challenging cross country course.

Mary said Badminton was 16-year-old Imperial Cavalier’s (Archie) last 4* event; she plans to end his event career later this year, competing at a lower level.

Olympic rider Mary, and Archie, from Salcombe Regis, near Sidmouth, were part of Team GB’s London 2012 equestrian silver medal team.

Mary will meet with Archie’s owners next week to discuss the horse’s retirement and future.

“Badminton was his last major three-day event,” said Mary. “I will do some One Day Events with him this autumn to finish his career.

“When these great horses come to the end of their career you have to bite the bullet and accept it.”

Mary was among eight former winners of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy battling against competitors from 14 other nations vying to win the coveted title.

She said this year’s Badminton had proved ‘eventful and disappointing’.

Mary and Archie had the crowds on tenterhooks when the Olympic medal duo narrowly missed taking a tumble at the Outlander Bank owl hole.

Horse and rider drew audible gasps from the crowd when Mary nearly went over Archie’s head as the 16.2hh horse appeared to stop mid-way through the jump.

“I had been thrown forward onto his neck but he kindly kept his head up,” said Mary.

“He’s an older horse and a wise old man. After his upset with the owl hole he felt very polite and he lost his feistiness that he’s had in the past.

“I think he had switched off so when he stopped at fence 16 I had no hesitation than to raise my hand and give him a pat.

“I thought I wouldn’t ask any more of him. He’s done so much; so many huge courses in his life. He’s a proven cross country horse.

“When he tells me he’s not wanting to do it, it’s time for him to stop.”

The pair was high on the leader board overnight after Friday’s dressage phase.

Mary said Archie performed a ‘beautiful’ test, controlling his enthusiasm, and was ‘in the hunt’ for Saturday’s cross country phase, starting with 42 penalties.

She believed the sticky ground over the cross country course sapped Archie’s energy, holding him back.

“At the end of the day he’s an older horse. I am sure if it had been a couple of years ago he would have coped a bit better,” she said.

She said the decision to pull Archie up was taken ‘without hesitation’ after he stopped at the second part of fence 16 at the Mirage pond; a drop into water coming out over a narrow brush.

Mary said: “After he jumped immaculately around the first part of the course he started to feel one-paced.”

The new course, designed by Giuseppe della Chiesa, proved a challenge to competitors – with just 23 out of the 87 starters going clear, and no-one returning within the optimum time.

Mary said: “I have had some fantastic times at Badminton. I feel very sorry for the young riders that had things go wrong. It’s heartbreaking.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 18:57
Scott Acheson, Jenny Edrwads, Louis Siveyer abnd William James in mid-race action

Exe Sailing Club hosted the final leg of the Two Rivers Junior Series, writes Bel Bailey.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:06
Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club. Ref exsp 4491-23-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Nineteen-year old croquet star Harry Dodge will appear in an international Golf Croquet exhibition match at Budleigh Croquet Club on Monday afternoon (July 6), writes Elaine Marsh.

Read more
Thu, 11:34
Hands holding rugby ball

Exeter Chiefs Academy back rower Connor O’Shaughnessy has becomes the latest addition to Exmouth’s squad ahead of the coming season.

Read more
Thu, 11:34
The swimmers who took part in the Exe to Exe race

The final weekend of June saw Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society stage the second Exe to Exe Swim, writes Ian Lang.

Read more
Thu, 11:34
Players taking part in the Sidmouth June CA Tournament this week. Ref shsp 8946-23-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Croquet Club held its annual One Ball tournament last weekend, writes David Butler.

Read more
Thu, 11:33

The Seaton bowlers’ week began with an away game at Tiverton West End, writes Maria Johnson.

Read more
Thu, 11:32
Bassetts Farms rounders team

Bassetts Farm Primary School rounders team continued their summer of success when they travelled to Plymouth for the Devon Summer Schools Finals.

Read more
Thu, 11:31

Honiton Running Club members took part in the Over the Hill and Farway 10k organised by Farway Primary School, writes Judy Davey.

Read more
Thu, 11:28
Budleigh's Charles Morris prepares to bowl at the Maer against on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Rerf exsp 5441-26-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Former Budleigh Salterton and Devon paceman Charlie Morris has reached a landmark in First Class cricket by taking his 100th wicket, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder