Mary King’s top two horses, Imperial Cavalier and Kings Temptress, are to miss the end of the 2013 eventing season, due to minor tendon injuries.
Mary has had a run of bad luck over the past couple of months, with nasty falls at Salperton Horse trials (22 June) at the end of June and Barbury, just two weeks later.
The six-time Olympic rider was knocked out and taken to Gloucester Hospital, when Kings Temptress (Tess) fell towards the end of the cross-country course at Salperton. Mary suffered two black eyes, a swollen nose and bruised hand, but nothing was broken and she was released the same day.
“Luckily Tess was fine,” said Mary. “I think I went for a rather long stand-off stride (not that I can remember much!), and she caught her knee and stumbled.”
Any riders that are knocked unconscious are 'stood down' from competition for 21 days, but the 52-year-old was declared fit and well in time for Barbury (4-7 July).
(c)Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA
Unfortunately Mary and Imperial Cavalier had a heavy fall coming out of the water at fence 12, although neither were hurt in the incident. Mary then missed out on being selected for the squad at the European championships in Sweden next month (29 August - 1 September).
“The ups and downs of this sport are hard," Mary said. “Mind you, I've been at it long enough so should know that's how it goes! I always say to people to keep your chin up when you are having a down time and enjoy the good times to the full, as they won't last for ever! I will really miss riding in the British team at the European championships.”
With Imperial Cavalier and Kings Temptress sidelined, Mary will also miss Burghley in September and the British open championships at Gatcombe this weekend (2-4 August).
However, MHS King Joules and Cavalier Venture have qualified for the intermediate championships at the Festival of British Eventing, so she will be still be competing at Gatcombe, albeit in the smaller classes.
Mary’s daughter Emily seems to be having a better run, having won three of the junior trials this spring, with Mr Hiho and Brookleigh. The 17-year-old is now on track for selection for the Junior Europeans in France (12-15 September). Her final trial is at Aston Le Walls on 8 August, after which the team will be announced.