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 Exmouth Journal 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 Exmouth Journal 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 Exmouth Journal 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, 17:37

Exmouth Town completed their home fixtures in the South West Peninsula Premier Division when they went down 2-0 to title favourites Bodmin in a game that was never truly won until the second goal late in added time, writes John Dibsdall.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Kieran Long makes a tackle for Withycombe Under-10s

Withycombe Under-10s finished their season on Saturday at Raleigh Park against a touring Forgeside team, and it proved to be the most physical game of their season.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Exmouth Amateurs girls Under-16s with the Devon Cup

Exmouth Amateurs have been crowned the Devon Girls Under-16 cup champions.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Sidbury Whites, winners of the East Devon Short Mat Bowls  League Cup

Cloakham played host to the grand finale of the East Devon Short Mat Bowls League, the League Cup.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Exmouth Under-11 netball team; Alex Fulthorpe, Amy Jenions, Esme Amor, Isabella Roddick, Megan Harris and Poppy Crowther

Exmouth Netball club took two teams of Under-11s to compete in a spring tournament at St Peters school in Exeter.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Short mat bowls generic picture

The East Devon Short Mat Bowls League saw the playing of the final games of the season last week, writes Caroline Pavey.

Read more
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Celebrations as the Exmouth Cockles win the Devon Cup Final beating visitors Brixham 31 points to 25. Ref exsp 18-16SH 2231. Picture: Simon Horn.

Exmouth 31 Brixham 25

Read more
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club Bridge Section Tuesday Duplicate winners Peter and Jackie Hardcastle with chairman Maureen Smith.

Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club Bridge Section held their Annual General Meeting last week.

Read more
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Exe SCs Exehibitionist in full flight off Exmouth

The past week was another lively one for all at Exe SC, writes Rex Frost.

Read more
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Regatta action off Exmouth

Don’t miss the chance to try sailing in this Olympic year when RYA Push the Boat Out returns from May 14 to 22.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder


HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications