Rider retires from eventing to focus on racing

  • Chris King is hanging up his eventing boots to devote more time to schooling racehorses.

    The 38-year-old, who won Blenheim CCI3* in 2007 with The Secret Weapon, has made the decision to switch careers and work more closely with National Hunt trainer Warren Greatrex and jumping expert Yogi Breisner.

    “I felt it was time for a change,” Chris told H&H. “I’ve been working with Yogi for a long time now and had scaled down my eventing last year to concentrate on the racehorses. When my best horse, Billy Bounce [pictured, with whom he won Barbury CIC2* in 2013] picked up an injury over the winter that ruled him out for this season, I decided that without him, I didn’t really want to do it anymore.”

    Chris has previously worked with trainers including Kim Bailey, and he has helped Harry Topper’s jumping, including pole and grid work with race-training in mind.

    Chris rides out daily for Warren Greatrex, who trained Cole Harden to win this year’s World Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival.

    “Warren and I are a similar age, but while my eventing career is petering out, he is just starting to come to the fore as a trainer — and it’s really exciting to be part of that team,” said Chris. “We’ve been busy this year, especially since Cheltenham, and I have a lot of very nice horses coming my way for jump schooling.”

    “Chris has been a big part of the team this season,” Warren told H&H. “His eventing background means that he sees things in a slightly different way which, as a trainer, has been invaluable. He always has ideas about how to improve a horse’s technique and is also very good about helping the younger jockeys.”

    Chris, who continues to share a yard in Lambourn with Laura Collett, has not ruled out returning to eventing “in some shape or form” in the future.

    “I’ve also yet to decide how to occupy myself in the summer months, so if anyone has any bright ideas, let me know!” he said.

    Chris’ two other advanced rides, GI Master Caster and House Of Tudor, have been sold and are being campaigned this year by Holly Woodhead and Adam Trew respectively.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 23 April 2015

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