Mary King takes on ‘new ride’ Hovis at Belton Horse Trials

  • H&H’s star equine blogger Hovis has claimed his spot as the latest hero on the eventing scene.

    Large crowds gathered to watch Mary King ride the part-bred Clydesdale in demonstrations at Belton Horse Trials on Saturday (14 April).

    Hovis, who was groomed to perfection with gleaming white feathers, looked to be thriving on the atmosphere and relished being at the centre of attention as he showed off to the crowds.

    Hovis, whose Friday diaries feature on the Horse & Hound website, was there to raise awareness and funds for Lincolnshire-based welfare charity Bransby Horses.

    Mary beamed as she took her “new ride” for a trot, before showcasing a few dressage moves in the CIC3* arena.

    The eventing legend returned for a second ride that afternoon, by which time Hovis was feeling even more sprightly — eyeing up the inviting logs used for the inter-hunt relay and putting in a couple of cheeky bucks.

    “He was so happy and felt like he was really enjoying himself,” Mary told H&H. “He seemed used to crowds and enjoyed showing off a bit.

    “He felt slightly different to a fit event horse, but he was a nice, good solid feel — it is all for a brilliant cause and I hope it makes people aware of the work Bransby does.”

    Hovis met with established members of the “Hovite Army” — his dedicated fanbase — and made plenty of new friends, including catching selfies with Lycetts Grantham Cup winner Jonty Evans, Mark Todd and British eventing performance coach Chris Bartle.

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    That was a dream come true,” said Hovis’s “mother” Karen after Mary had dismounted and given him a pat.

    “When I started doing this I could never imagine a world — having joked about it for eight years — where a top eventer like Mary would ride Hovis.

    “As much as it has been fun, the whole purpose of this is to raise much-needed funds for a Lincolnshire-based charity that is right on the front line of the equine welfare crisis.

    “While we joke about him, the money we raise is going to help so many horses and ponies in need.”

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