Olympic event rider Mary King is to take over the ride on Call Again Cavalier, the promising four-star horse Caroline Pratt started riding less than a year before she died in a tragic accident at Burghley.
The horse’s owners, Cheshire-based Janette Chinn, and football club-owning Eddie and Sue Davies are to send the 16.2hh bay gelding to Mary, 43, in the New Year.
“We’re absolutely delighted that she’s agreed to take him on,” says Chinn. “We asked Yogi Breisner to make the call, then we met up with Mary last week. She is a true professional. We can never replace Caroline, who got on so well with him, but we hope Mary can take up where Caroline left off.”
The 12-year-old Thoroughbred/Holstein by Cavalier Royale was 15th (2002) and 21st (2003) at Burghley with Vicky Brake. With Caroline, he won open intermediates at Burnham Market, Milton Keynes and Aske Hall, and was eighth at Gatcombe and fourth in the advanced at Weston Park.
Caroline had completed the cross-country on Call Again Cavalier earlier in the day at Burghley before her fatal accident with Primitive Streak, her second ride.
Mary says: “I feel very honoured to get the ride on such a super horse and am very excited. We hope, if we’re getting on well, to go to Badminton in the spring. Then, if we do well there, our dream would be to make the European Championship team.”
Chinn and the Davieses bought Call Again Cavalier in November 2003 from Vicky Brake, who produced him to four-star level. He went straight to Caroline, who was based in Cheshire.
“Devon is far away,” adds Chinn, “but finding the right jockey was more important than mileage.”
“The offer came out of the blue — he wasn’t on the market,” says Karen. “I didn’t want to sell him, but you have to be sensible — I’m 40 and have children, a home and an overdraft to think about. I would have needed my head examining if I’d turned this offer down.”