‘Heartbroken, gutted, devasted’: eventer loses the ride on four top horses

A European medal-winner is heartbroken to lose the rides on her four top horses following the owner’s decision to “part company” with the sport.

Emily King announced she would no longer have the ride of Jane Del Missier’s Brookleigh, Dargun, Cooley Currency and Dorado Du Buisson, as well as six youngsters.

“Returning from Ballindenisk late Sunday evening (29 September) marked the start of a new chapter. As I entered my barn at Hafod Stables, the main boxes which used to house some of my closest and most dearest friends are no longer occupied,” Emily said in a statement.

“Heartbroken, gutted, devastated don’t even begin to touch my emotions but I completely respect Jane’s decision in wanting to part company from our sport.

“I’d given a piece of my heart to each one of those horses and likewise they had to me. My first five-star start, my first Badminton entry, European Championships, championship medals, advanced wins – all down to those wonderful creatures who I was honoured to call my best friends.”

Emily was part of the gold medal-winning team at the young rider European Championships in Strzegom, Poland, in 2015 with 11-year-old gelding Dargun. She made her five-star debut at Pau, France, in 2015 and competed at her first Badminton in 2016 with Brookleigh, now 17.

Emily said the loss of the horses will leave a “large hole” at Hafod Stables.

“When one door closes, another opens and to start a new chapter you must focus not on regretting the old, but on building the new. Thank you as always to everyone who’s supported me,” she said.

“Jane has been the most wonderful owner and I am hugely grateful for her support over many years from when I was a junior rider. I would like to thank Jane and her family for all the opportunities they have given me and I wish them all the best for the future.”

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Mrs Del Missier thanked Emily “for all her hard work” and the fun they had together.

“She has always been the perfect partner, behaved professionally, been a good communicator, looked after the horses impeccably and I cannot imagine having another rider for my horses,” she said.

“However I have small children and being an owner is not suiting this current stage of my life. I have been unable to focus on them and their activities. They, my husband, and my elderly parents are my priority, and I just don’t have the time to be involved in being an owner. I shall watch Emily’s future career with greater interest and wish her much success.”

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