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Mary King makes a winning return to eventing

Mary King has made a winning return to competition after serving a two-month ban from competition. 

Mary took a BE100 at West Wilts yesterday (Tuesday 12 August) with five-year-old King Dan. 

She also finished second in an open novice with with Mr Hiho and ninth in the same section with Kings Choice.

“It was lovely to comeback with a win,” Mary told H&H. “It was great that all three horses went well.”

The popular rider was suspended for two months in June after being handed a yellow card for dangerous riding, aboard MHS King Joules at Bramham.

As it was her second yellow card for the same offence in a year, she was banned by the FEI.

Despite a petition that gained thousands of signatures, the FEI stuck by its decision and would not overturn the ban, stating that she should have pulled up sooner.

She said at the time she was “embarrassed” and that the horse had been “disappointingly strong and unruly across country.”

“Everyone has been very supportive,” she added. “Yesterday [at West Wilts] lots of people came up to me and said it was nice to see me back, which was lovely.

“I’m lucky that it came at a good time, in the sense that I had no rides for the World Equestrian Games and it was a fairly quiet summer.”

Mary said that despite the ban she’s been keeping busy.

“I’ve had a good couple of holidays, my legs are the brownest they’ve ever been, I’m calling it my suspension tan,” she joked.

“I’ve got a couple of home-bred three and four-year-olds that I’ve been working. I’ve also been helping Emily [who is currently at the junior Europeans at Bishop Burton] and working on my training book, ‘Mary King: My Way’, which launches at Burghley.”

Mary is now aiming at Sapey, Wellington and possibly Blenheim.

“Emily will be riding there with Brookleigh, if all goes well at the Europeans, but I haven’t decided whether I’ll go there or not.”

And Mary is putting the ban behind her now.

“I can’t let it affect the way I ride,” she added. “With young horses you have to ride them positively across country. Obviously I’m thinking about it and don’t want people to think I’m riding dangerously again, but I can’t dwell on it.”

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