Mary King tempted by tennis and hopes to event again this season after fall

  • Mary King says she is comfortable and mobile, and looking forward to fitting some eventing in before the end of the season.

    H&H reported yesterday that the multiple medal-winning rider had suffered a number of broken ribs and vertebrae, as well as a fractured shoulder blade, in a fall at home.

    But she told H&H today (24 June) she is “absolutely fine”.

    “I’m marching around, putting the washing on, and emptying the bins; I’m absolutely mobile,” she said. “Luckily, although I’ve broken a lot of bones, they’re all in line. Nothing is displaced, so as long as they all stay in line, they should just heal and I’ll be away.”

    Mary said it is the wings of most of the vertebrae that are broken, and “just one is broken in half”.

    “That one’s in my neck so I’m wearing a stiff collar but it’s quite comfortable,” she added. “Nicola Wilson and I were sending each other photos of ourselves and we’ve got the same collar on; we’re twins with our ‘necklaces’ as we call them.”

    Mary added that her shoulder blade is “quite broken” but she can use her left arm, which doctors said would be a good idea.

    She said the fall had been a freak accident.

    “I went into the arena on this lovely young horse, a really, really nice four-year-old from Ireland who’s been really well behaved, and when I went to go through the gate, a big gust of wind picked it up and whacked it against his quarters and he shot forward,” she said, adding that she landed on the stony area outside the arena.

    “The horse was fine, he only broke his reins, and luckily I had my phone on me so I could ‘phone a friend’. I rang Annie Corbin, who used to work for me and keeps her horse here, and she came to the rescue.”

    Mary said she has an appointment in a couple of weeks to check her progress but she hopes it will not be too long until she is back to normal.

    Her eventer daughter Emily said yesterday Mary was “threatening to pick up her tennis racket”, and Mary said she hoped this would not be too far off.

    “I am quite tempted — but I had better be good!” she said. “It’s good it’s all mainly on my left side, so I hope I’ll be back on the tennis court quite soon, and I should be able to get some events in before the end of the season; that’s the main aim, to educate these young horses.”

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