Emily King takes Blenheim CCI4*-L dressage lead: ‘My Mum is like a knowledgeable mirror before the test’

  • Emily King has taken over the Blenheim Horse Trials dressage lead in the CCI4*-L class, riding Valmy Biats.

    The pair scored 27.2 for their excellent test.

    “I’ve had him for about a year and a half now and when he came to me, he had good movement but he was so tense and nervy and didn’t do his flying changes, so I thought it was going to take a while. But actually he’s come to doing them nicely now and he’s just got better with his general work at each event,” said Emily.

    “He’s learnt to relax in the ring rather than going in and holding his breath and going tight. He warms up really well and in the past he’s arrived at the bigger events and worked very well, but there’s just been a tendency to go in there and then not work so well because he’s a bit tight. But actually today, he felt the same in there as he did out here, so I could ride him how I wanted to ride, rather than having to bodge things and think, ‘How do I disguise that?’”

    Emily said it’s important for her to remain calm around the horse so he learns the whole experience isn’t stressful.

    “I get a bit tense, so I think it’s probably quite good for me having one like him so I can’t do that,” she said. “My old top horses – like Brookleigh and Dargun – were very relaxed and they needed to be a bit gee-ed up.”

    Emily added that her mother, multiple medallist and five-star winner Mary King, acts as “a knowledgeable mirror” before her test.

    She said: “She’s amazing at those final little things – I’m hyper concentrated, so it’s a bit hard if somebody is trying to teach me, but she’ll say like little things like more angle, a bit higher head, a little bit steadier. She reminded me before I went in to keep him more forward as that actually relaxes him.”

    The 12-year-old Valmy Biats is owned by his breeder Philippe Brivois, with the horse also supported by the Event Horse Owners Syndicate. The horses Frenchman Philippe breeds carry the Biats name – he also bred William Fox-Pitt’s Pau CCI5* winner Oslo (the Biats suffix was dropped from Oslo’s name later in his career) and Kitty King’s championship ride Vendredi Biats.

    Izzy Taylor, the early leader in the Blenheim Horse Trials dressage, now sits second in this CCI4*-L class with Springpower.

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