Mary King has told H&H she was “surprised and disappointed” to have been handed an FEI yellow warning card at Le Lion d’Angers (17-20 October) for “dangerous riding” on the seven-year-old Cavalier Venture.

Yellow warning cards are usually issued for a first offence. Anyone receiving two yellow cards in 12 months is given an automatic 2-month ban.

“He’s a young horse and he spooked into the first water and landed on all 4 [feet], before having a stop at the fence out,” said Mary.

“It was his first ever stop. They said I shouldn’t have pushed him and should have turned him before the jump coming out.”

Mary said she didn’t think she had done anything wrong.

“I was very surprised. I was just riding him forward into a small set of rails coming out — if it had been a 5-bar gate then I would have turned him, but my reaction was just to kick on,” she said.

British showjumper Michael Whitaker received a yellow card for “incorrect behaviour” at the Nations Cup final in Barcelona in September.

Michael and Dutch rider Harrie Smolders were both admonished for entering the show’s restricted stabling area without signing in, as there had been nobody in the site office at the time.

“It’s laughable. We’d just gone in for 2min to take our boots off — they must be trying to make an example of us,” said Michael.

“We were very nice about it, they were very nice about it, but we were called in the next day — we had no idea what we’d done wrong.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (7 November, 2013)