Mary King, top British event rider

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    One of the most popular and successful British event riders, Mary (n ©e Thomson) is renowned for always having a smile on her face. Born in 1961 to unhorsey parents, she learnt to ride on the vicar’s pony and started out in eventing working for former European champion Sheila Wilcox.

    Mary won Badminton in 1992 on King William and again in 2000 on Star Appeal, who also won Burghley in 1996. She is the only person to have won five British national titles at Gatcombe and joins Mark Todd and William Fox-Pitt in holding the record for winning four British open championships.

    A regular British team member, Mary has been to six Olympics, collecting team silver in Athens 2004 and London 2012, as well as team bronze in Hong Kong 2008. She was on the all-girl gold medal-winning team at The Hague World Equestrian Games in 1994, gained team silver at the Aachen Worlds in 2006 and team gold at the Kentucky WEG in 2010. She has four European team gold medals (1991, 1995, 1997, 2007) and two individual medals (1995 bronze and 2007 silver).

    Mary fought back from breaking her neck in a riding accident in 2001 and in recent years has had a superb injection of horsepower through her association with Eddie and Sue Davies and their daughter Janette Chinn, who own her 2010-2012 team horse Imperial Cavalier and owned her 2006-2008 team horse Call Again Cavalier, who was put down after an accident at the inaugural Express Eventing competition in November 2008.

    She is also now a keen breeder of event horses, many of whom carry Mary’s tag of King in their names. In 2011, she celebrated a four-star win on a home-bred mare when she took top spot at Kentucky on Kings Temptress, also finishing second on Fernhill Urco. She was the first person to score a one-two at the American four-star.

    Mary won the HSBC FEI Classics in 2011 and was the world’s leading event rider the same year.

    She lives in Devon with husband David and has two children, Emily (born 1995) and Freddie (born 1999).

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