King in fine form at Burghley

Build up to World Equestrian Games

MARY King geared up for this month’s World Equestrian Games in style by securing two top-ten finishes with an eventing masterclass at the Burghley Horse Trials.

The 49-year-old, who claimed silver at the 2004 Athens Games and bronze four years later in Beijing, finished fifth with Apache Sauce and seventh with Kings Temptress at the prestigious four-star event – which doubles as the penultimate leg of the HSBC FEI Classics series.

King’s success was only the first part of an action-packed month which will see her travel to the Blenheim Horse Trials next weekend before bringing representing Great Britain at WEG in Kentucky.

And with just two years to go until the London Olympics King insists she’s looking to cement her GB spot by adding to her international medal haul in the USA.

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“I’m absolutely chuffed to bits with how things have gone, both on the last day and over the entire event,” said King.

“It’s been a fantastic Burghley for me generally. It’s such an honour to ride in such a wonderful event that it’s been absolutely brilliant.

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“I’m off to Blenheim Horse Trials next week and then Kentucky for the World Equestrian Games so the horses fly on the 22nd and then myself and the other team members fly on the 23rd and I cam’t wait for it.

“I had a show jump down for both of the horses but that was really quite a good result for them, all things considered.

“I had both horses here last year too and they each had three show jumps down, so it was a big improvement on that to be honest with you.

“On the other hand, it shows that it’s not their strength phase, but they picked up their feet compared to last year so I’m very happy with that.”

King was lying in sixth and eighth at the end of the dressage phase after racking up just 44.8 penalty points with Apache Sauce and 45.3 with Kings Temptress.

Both horses cleared the notorious cross-country course inside the required time and despite only four penalties apiece in the show jump blotting the copybook, King declared herself satisfied with the weekend’s work.

“There was just one error moved us down just a couple of places, but overall I really am very happy – I’m delighted with their performance,” added King.

“It’s gone well. You never know with him Apache Sauce because he is so inconsistent. He is definitely getting calmer though.

“The older he gets, the better he is at coping at these events, so that’s a good thing.

“Kings Temptress was a little bit nervous at the start, definitely a little bit anxious early on, but when she settled down she did some excellent work.

“Other than a little bit of head tilting, she was really good and she is a very exciting prospect really.”

The HSBC FEI Classics� unites the top end of the international eventing circuit - namely the five four-star competitions across the world. The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is the penultimate event in the HSBC FEI Classics�.

TIM ROGERS, of Axminster, won a bronze individual medal at the British Junior Eventing Championships in Germany.

Chosen as anchorman for the team, he was last to go. Good dressage gave the Brits the overnight lead for the team after dressage.

On the Friday Tim did a personal best dressage on Corrieview Owen which put him in eighth place and the other member of the team did a good test, putting her into sixth place, but it was not good enough to stop the German team just moving into the lead with the Brits in second after that phase.

On cross country day the first team member to go had a very unfortunate run out late on the course. The second had a stop at another fence on the course. The third member also had a stop so hopes of GB getting a medal were fading fast.

Tim, having watched his team members and other riders going, had to wait until 5.30pm for his turn and felt the best way to deal with the long wait was to sleep in the lorry!

After warming up his horse they set off with confidence and speed round the technical cross country course and were clear inside the time which pushed them up to seventh place with the team eighth after cross country day.

Having had a closer look at the individual scores on Saturday night, it was realised that there was not a show jump pole separating the top eight horses, which meant that, if Owen jumped clear and no one else did, he could win!

On Sunday morning all horses presented for the trot up passed.

The show jumping course caused a lot of trouble, the time being tight and the course technical. Horses that would normally have jumped a clear where having faults.

Tim and Owen jumped a good round but had four faults for one pole down. As the next few horses went in, the Brits suddenly realised that Tim and Owen were moving up the leader board fast. There was a tense moment when the GB entourage realised that Tim was in joint bronze medal position with a German rider on the same score - Tim got it as he was closer to the optimum time on the cross country. The GB team moved up from eighth to fifth

Tim’s mum Jane said: “To see Tim receive the bronze medal and watch them galloping round the arena waving a Union flag is a memory I will always cherish.

“The other thing that meant a lot was receiving the lovely text messages of good luck and congratulations. Thank you to everyone for the kind messages we have received.”

The Westpoint Centre, Exeter is the location for the 15th annual South West Christmas Equine Fair, which takes place on December 4 and 5.

Top international three-day event rider Oliver Townend, kindly supported by Mole Valley Farmers, will provide two demonstrations on each day. Leading international show jumper Geoff Billington will also provide two exciting and informative demonstrations on each day.

An exciting new addition this year is a Junior Show Jumping competition which will take place on Saturday, December 4, from 6pm – 8pm. This competition is kindly supported by local clothing company Henry Hunt. Further details and a competition entry form can be found at

Tickets are already on sale with a discounted rate to those booking in advance. Details are available by visiting the website or calling (01749) 813899.

SOME of the world’s top riders will be competing at Pontispool Horse Trials near Taunton on September 12 and 13 where they are set to ride some of their most promising young horses for the future.

This popular event has attracted household names from the sport including Olympic gold medallist Mary King who has represented Great Britain at the Olympics five times and has won Badminton twice, William Fox-Pitt, a silver medallist at Athens in 2004 and winner of Burghley, Badminton, Blenheim and the British Open Championship at Gatcombe and Lucy Weigersma, the only rider to have won all three domestic titles. September’s event, which is sponsored by Wychanger Barton Saddlery, will host the BE100 regional finals and the BE100 Junior Regional Area Finals.

For further details contact Pontispool on 01823 461196 or visit

THIS YEAR is proving to be an exciting one for event/dressage rider Abbie Hughes.

She has recently moved to a new premises in Awliscombe, under the name Greenacres Competition Livery LLP.

For the second year running, Abbie won the BYRDS (British Young Riders Dressage) inter-regional A squad competition in Keysoe, Bedford. This time she was riding Ramiro’s Secret owned by Christine Channing.

Abbie won the medium dressage at Hartpury Premier league also riding Christine Channing’s Da Vinci II. These two horses have also qualified for the British Dressage national championships on September 12- a dream come true for Abbie.

Isle Valley, owned by Kate Cameron, won a British Eventing novice class last week, having only just stepped up to this level.

Abbie said: “I am on cloud nine at the moment - we are having a great season - the new premises is amazing. I feel incredibly lucky. Everything feels like it’s coming together - we have great facilities, horses and supporters, allowing me to achieve my goals and ambitions.”

Abbie is a member of the regional foundation squad which is the start of the ‘Olympic pathway’ system. 

Abbie Hughes riding Da Vinci II in dressage and Isle Valley cross country.

Michael Bickell and his fellow riders came under starters orders on Sunday when former Grand National winning jockey Bob Champion started their 150 mile sponsored ride in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The ride started at trainer Chris Down’s Upton Farm Racing Yard near Cullompton in Devon and ends at Fontwell Park racecourse tonight, Wednesday.

He is accompanied by Amanda Denny and Deborah and Harriette Kivell for the five and a half day journey and Heather Parr is driving the all-important back up vehicle again as she has done for Mike’s previous charity rides.

Today’s ride is around Southampton before finishing at Fontwell Races which coincides with the grand opening of a new stand and Ladies’ Night with a Take That tribute band.

Michael also wishes to thank the racegoers at the end of season point-to-point at Umberleigh, Devon who generously contributed �863 to the collection he and his pals made for the two charities he is supporting. To sponsor or for more ride details please call Michael on 07831494676.

?GEORGIE Conneeley, 9, from Dunkeswell, a member of East Devon Pony Club, has been having a great season with her ponies, George In the Jungle and Kassandra. Her latest win was on Sunday at Heazle when she won the pairs, with her friend Chloe Howard, and went on to win the open 2”3 jumping as well as coming fourth and fifth in other classes. Georgie, who goes to Broadhembury School, would love to event when she is older, and supports her Godmother Kathryn Little and friend Abbie Hughes.

?Membury Fun Ride takes place on August 30 - Bank Holiday Monday at Park Farm, Membury EX13 7TB in aid of Membury Church and Cotley Hunt

It’s a scenic ride in Blackdown Hills, about 10-12 miles, with optional jumps.

Groups of riders will start between 10am and 12pm. Entries are �12 per adult and �8 for children under 12. Rosettes to all riders. Hard hats must be worn. Enquiries to Claudia Pearse on (01404) 881304 or 07525144543.

EVENTING - After a campaign of spring trials and the Hows Racesafe National Under-18 Championships at Glanusk, the Junior Selectors have announced that Axminster’s Tim Rogers is in the squad of six for the Junior European Eventing Championships, taking place at Bad Segeberg in Germany over August 19-22.

Tim, with his homebred horse Corrieview Owen, pictured above, had been hoping for a place in the team after a great performance at Houghton Hall 3DE recently.

Tim is also a member of the World Class Development Programme.

Tim’s mum Jane said: “We are thrilled, naturally, and will have to wrap them both in cotton wool to keep them free of injury!”

CHARITY RIDE - JENNIE SALTER and Liz Tancock completed the Horses for Heroes Charity ride in Windsor Great Park and Ascot Racecourse. along with 2010 others - all of whom had raised at least �500 for the charity.

So far they have collected around �1,400 and will know their final total at the end of August.

Jennie said: “We had a wonderful day. The cameraderie was amazing. It was very hot and humid - around 32 degrees.

“Luckily we were the last group to ride past the finishing post, which was amazing. Riding in front of the grandstand was awe inspiring.”

“Thank you to everyone who kindly donated money.”

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