The future of Mary King’s top event horse is undecided after he was retired from the cross-country at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this weekend (8-11 May).
A local newspaper had reported that 17-year-old Imperial Cavalier, known as Archie, was going to be retired. However, Mary told H&H this was not necessarily the case.
“I am meeting with his owners at Aston-le-Walls on Wednesday (14 May) and we will make a decision then,” Mary said this afternoon (Monday 12 May).
“He is very well in himself.”
Mary and Archie had a very sticky moment at the Outlander Bank Owl Hole on Saturday (10 May) but managed to recover. But Mary then retired him 3 fences later when he had a refusal at the second element of the Mirage Pond.
“I really thought the relentlessly big cross-country course was right up Archie’s street, and I am sure it would have been if the ground conditions hadn’t been so energy sapping, and if he had been a few years younger,” Mary said on her Facebook page.
“He felt a bit flat and I had no hesitation at retiring when he stopped at the 2nd part of fence 16.
“There were so many problems throughout the day with only 23 out of the 87 starters going clear, and no-one getting the time. Luckily there were no horses or riders badly hurt.”
Archie was a member of Britain’s silver medal winning team at the London Olympics and had been on great form this season — winning the advanced intermediate at Aldon (14 March) and finishing 3rd in the CIC*** at Belton Park (4 April).