Mary King has a lean yard of just four horses to compete this season. But she says she is “quite happy”, as it will give her more time to help daughter Emily.
London 2012 team silver medallist Imperial Cavalier is “fit and well” and being aimed at Badminton, after picking up a tendon injury last year.
“He’s getting to be an old man [he’s 17], but he’s very well in himself,” Mary told H&H.
But Kings Temptress, who damaged a tendon in 2013, is not returning just yet.
“We’re giving her some more time to recover so she won’t be competing this spring and we might do a bit more breeding,” said Mary.
“Depending on how she goes and subject to scans, she might do the autumn season and Burghley.”
Eddie and Sue Davies’ Fernhill Urco — whom Mary retired on the cross-country at Kentucky last year — has gone to young rider Yasmin Ingham.
“He’s susceptible to injury, so we decided it would be best if he dropped back to a lower level and competed with a younger rider,” Mary explained.
The six-times Olympian had a tough time in 2013. As well as her two top horses picking up injuries, she suffered a heavy fall from Kings Temptress at Salperton and fell from Imperial Cavalier at Barbury, which meant she missed out on Europeans selection.
This season, Mary will be aiming MHS King Joules at Bramham and the six-year-old Kings Choice at Tattersalls CCI*. She also has a five-year-old, King Don, who will start his eventing career.
Much of Mary’s focus will be on helping Emily, who turns 18 later this month, step up to three-star.
“She’s very excited,” said Mary, adding that Emily — who has six horses — aims to take Mr Hiho and Brookleigh to the under-25 championships at Bramham.