Mary King’s Olympic Games countdown diary: 10 days to go

  • So here we are just days from setting off to Hong Kong and all the horses are feeling fit and well. They enjoyed their last gallop this morning and Cavvy is feeling great. There is no way he is going to let his younger half-brother deprive him of his Olympic chance.

    Since we moved into quarantine last Tuesday things have been going very smoothly with the horses, although we only have very limited hacking available due to the strict quarantine rules. There is just one field that takes seven minutes to walk around and it gets rather tedious going round and round it. At least the horses can be turned out here, which they won’t in Hong Kong.

    Ferdie Eilberg has visited us twice for dressage lessons. Last Thursday I was being a bit slack and wasn’t riding very well, so he really chased me to get the horses working properly. I needed that kick up the bum and in our lesson on Sunday the horses were working much better, softer and more through.

    Last Friday we visited the heat chamber. I like the heat and I’ve been in the chamber before when we were preparing for the Atlanta Olympics. I went in with William Fox-Pitt and we both did 20min on the exercise bike wearing heart monitors and being assessed by our fitness trainer John Pitts. It’s amazing just how much you sweat. It is literally running off your chin and you end up wet through to your underwear. It’s very unflattering and it takes ages to get your body temperature back to normal.

    On Friday evening Laura Bechtolsheimer’s parents very kindly hosted a very grand BBQ with Chinese and English food laid on to set the Olympic atmosphere. It was a lovely evening with a jazz band playing and my husband David and son Freddie came up to join the party. Then we all headed back to Devon together as the horses were having the next day off. I had a busy day back at home doing my final preparations and then it was straight back up to quarantine.

    The horses will be kept ticking over now until they fly out on Wednesday from Stansted and our flight is on Thursday evening. My next diary will be from the Olympic village in Hong Kong. So fingers crossed all goes according to plan between now and then.


    Read CountryLife.co.uk’s interview with Mary King

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