Mary King’s Olympic Games countdown diary: 1 day to go

  • The day for Call Again Cavalier (Cavvy) to travel to Hong Kong came around incredibly quickly. When he had flown out to Pratoni last year he had became a little edgy, so I was concerned that the same might happen again and that he would lose weight. Fortunately that trial run was the best thing that could have happened as he was fine this time.

    I saw him get on the plane at Stansted and then returned to Devon with my reserve horse Imperial Cavalier (Archie), said goodbye to my family and flew to Hong Kong the next day. Luckily it wasn’t too long before I saw the family again as they arrived yesterday along with a contingent of owners and friends.

    The horses had an easy couple of days after they arrived and we have gradually picked up the work as the week progressed. I had, of course, heard horror stories about the conditions and I was prepared for the worst, but I found it to be not particularly humid, and sunny with a lovely breeze.

    I rode Cavvy in the mornings and would then return to the hotel and sit by the pool or use the gym. It was a very relaxing time and just what was needed before all the action starts.

    I saw the cross-country course for the first time yesterday. It was raining so I had to dress up in one of those clear plastic bags that doubles as a coat. It didn’t look particularly smart but was very effective.

    The course looked intense and twisty and was strung in a narrow channel which some horses will find unnerving with the crowds so close either side. I walked the track again today, and will do so another couple of times before Monday.

    In between work I have attended a number of functions, including meeting the mayor and the British Consul. I absolutely love Hong Kong. I’ve managed to go out in the evening a few times and have even watched a light show.

    When I’m riding in Penfold Park it seems surreal being in this beautifully prepared park in the middle of the lovely big racecourse and surrounded by huge skyscrapers.
    I feel very lucky to be here and also to have the help of Ferdi Eilberg, who trains me at home anyway.

    I’m hugely looking forward to all the action starting and just hope I can do Cavvy justice. He could just win it if I do everything right.

    Keep your fingers crossed.


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