Siblings on TV, flowers and converted chicken farms — check out these fun facts about British event rider Kitty King
1. Kitty received flowers from her brother George after her successes at Blair and Blenheim this year — but he forgot to put his name on the tag so she only tracked down that they were from him by tweeting Interflora.
2. Kitty’s youngest sister Lucy was a heptathlete — and the Gladiator Tempest on the TV show. But she is also “the most unsound individual you could ever come across”, which forced her to retire from competitive sport.
3. Lucy and third sister Charlotte now run a café and deli in Kingsbridge, South Devon. During Blair they had updates on how Kitty was doing on the blackboard outside.
4. Kitty credits the fact her husband Ben was previously a jockey for knowing what support she needs at events. “He does understand the disappointment of horses and the sport,” she says. “He’ll know when to walk away and not speak and when you actually need someone to rant at. He’s pretty good at knowing when to be about and when to scarper at events.”
5. Kitty is the first person to ride for Britain in Europeans at all four levels (pony, junior, young rider, senior) and also the first person to win medals for Team GBR at all four levels.
6. Her yard is a converted chicken farm.
7. Nick Burton trains her on the flat, as well as Tracie Robinson through the World Class programme. She has help from Yogi Breisner and Peter Murphy on the jumping side through World Class, but credits Keith Doyle with making her more confident and competent in the showjumping so that this is now a phase she really enjoys.
8. She did a fair amount of pure dressage when she was younger, being part of the British Young Riders Dressage Scheme (BYRDS) and riding at a dressage international in Ireland with one of her eventing ponies. She had training from Carl Hester and through him gained the temporary ride on a dressage horse whose owner was injured — she rode the horse in trials for the junior dressage team.
“At BYRDS there were all these dressage girls with snazzy fancy-pants dressage ponies. My event ponies did look fairly average by comparison and we couldn’t do a lot of things they were doing, but it was a great grounding and discipline,” says Kitty. “It taught me a lot about the training side, which stood me in good stead for that phase.”
9. Kitty and her husband Ben attended BBC Sports Personality of the Year on 20 December and Kitty said it was “an inspiration to be in a room full of such sporting stars”.
Read our exclusive interview with Kitty in the current issue of Horse & Hound (31 December 2015)