Mary King cops two month suspension

Mary King and King's Temptress
British eventer Mary King. © Mike Bain

Six-time British Olympic eventer Mary King has been suspended from competition for two months after receiving a second yellow card at last weekend’s Bramham International Horse Trials.

Under eventing rules, if a rider receives two yellow cards in a 12-month period, they are suspended for two months.

The suspension puts King, 53, out of competition until August 9.

The latest yellow card, for dangerous riding, relates to King’s ride on MSH King Joules, whom she pulled up halfway around the cross country course. However, the ground jury said King should have pulled up before the previous jump.

King said: “The horse I rode at Bramham was disappointingly strong and unruly across country. I pulled him up half way around the cross-country course and retired after we had jumped the first part of a rail, ditch, rail combination. He dropped his back legs on the first rail and the frangible pin broke. It felt dangerous and neither of us were enjoying ourselves so I thought it best to stop before we had an accident.

“The ground jury have interviewed me and said I should have pulled up at the fence before. They said because I am a high profile rider/role model for younger riders I should have been more sensible, and I received a yellow card for dangerous riding.

“I was completely shocked and devastated,” King said.

Her daughter, Emily, will ride Mary’s young horses during June and July.

“I love my horses and love the sport. I am very sorry this has happened,” King said.

King’s previous yellow card was awarded in November 2013 for dangerous riding on Cavalier Venture on the cross country of the Young Event Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in October.

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