British Olympic eventing rider Mary King has become the first Equine Ambassador for national pet charity Blue Cross.
King, who represented Great Britain at six Olympics from 1992 to 2012, will help raise the profile of the charity’s important horse welfare work in the UK.
Blue Cross runs two horse welfare centres in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire where neglected, abandoned and unwanted horses and ponies are rehabilitated and then rehomed. The charity also operates a Home Direct scheme to help owners find suitable new homes for their horses, direct, if they can no longer keep them.
“I am truly thrilled to take on the role of equine ambassador for Blue Cross. I have immense respect for their welfare and rehoming work and hope that I will be able to help raise their profile in many ways,” King said.
King helped spread the word about this year’s Christmas Dinner project which ensured the horses at the Blue Cross Burford centre got some “festive spirit and plenty of love on Christmas day”. More than £7000 was donated for the cause.
King has been a keen supporter of the work of Blue Cross for many years. The 1992 and 2000 Badminton Horse Trials winner even rode a Blue Cross horse, Sheridan, around part of the famous course – although admittedly not over any of the cross-country jumps. Most recently King supported the National Equine Welfare Survey, organised by Blue Cross.
As well as her Olympic successes — she won team silver in 2004 and 2012 and team bronze in 2008 — King has also won team gold at two World Equestrian Games and four team golds at the European Eventing Championships, among many other national and international medals and trophies.
Blue Cross Senior Horse Rehoming Manager Rosie Mogford said the charity was “honoured and excited” that King had agreed to become its first ever equine ambassador.
“She is one of the most accomplished and admired riders in equestrian sport and we could not wish for a better representative to support our welfare work.”