Mary King announced yesterday (15 June 2015) that her four-star winner Kings Temptress would be retired at the age of 15. To celebrate the mare’s career, we’ve dug into the archives to bring you photos of some of her biggest successes — from her 2011 Rolex Kentucky win to taking third at Burghley in the same year.
The 15-year-old Primitive Rising mare’s career high came when she clinched the Kentucky title in 2011. “I’m absolutely over the moon,” Mary said at the time, after finishing second with Fernhill Urco at the same event. “I never would have dreamt I would be in this position when I left England to come here. Kings Temptress is very experienced at this level and was fluent all the way round,” she added, achieving one of only three double-clear rounds.
At Burghley in 2011, Mary and the 16.1hh Kings Temptress (Tess) finished third.
In 2010 at Burghley, Tess, who has “a lovely, calm, contented” temperament, came seventh.
Tess completed five four-stars in her career, taking fourth on her debut at the level at Luhmühlen in 2009. She was the third horse that Mary bred out of Kings Mistress, but it wasn’t all plain sailing to begin with. “When I started jumping Tess, she really couldn’t do it and I thought, ‘What have I bred?’,” Mary said.
Riding and competing successfully are all about creating a solid partnership with your horse. Mary King bases hers on these
Mary’s daughter Emily holds Tess at Badminton in 2013 while she takes a bath.
At this year’s Badminton Tess did her dressage, scoring 47.1, but when Mary took her out for some exercise on Saturday morning, she got a “real shock” when she realised the mare was not sound.
Tess and Mary in action at Barbury in 2012.
Tess, who amassed 1,099 British Eventing points since she started competing in 2005, at Bramham in 2008.
Tess (right) with Mary, her daughter Emily and Everys King, who was Tess’s first foal by Mednight Mahout. Mary intends to continue breeding from Tess, who has had a number of embryo transfer foals, following her retirement from competition.