Friday, August 10, 2012
What many people don’t even consider when watching the Olympics is the cost to the competitor.
Mary King has not won any prizemoney this year with Imperial Cavalier for his owners due to the long term goal of him being in peak form for the Olympics.
She said: “We are of course looked after for free while we are there, and get lots of team kit, but all the time we are team training and aiming the horse at the Olympics, it is costing us. Luckily I had a brilliant year in 2011 with ‘Archie’ (when King won the HSBC Classic series and was world number one), and that has helped carry us forward this time.”
“Of course the weather this year didn’t help as a lot of the events were cancelled. Hopefully the medal-winning equestrian teams will bring in some more major sponsors to the sport.
“Luckily I have 28 companies who sponsor me in a smaller way who keep me on the road and it is part of my job to keep in touch with them with how I am getting on.”
“The showjumpers for example would normally be earning money every week and it is very expensive to keep a horse competing at the top level.”
It is typical of King’s hard-working ethos that her daughter Emily has had to find her own sponsors to embark on her own eventing career.