An exciting new year for Mary King!

Today is a busy day for our sponsored rider, Mary King with her horses all coming back in to work after their winter holidays. We caught up with Mary whilst she was on route to pick up Imperial Cavalier and a new youngster from their owners, and after speaking to her we are keeping everything crossed for her in this very special Olympic year!

"We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and have just returned from a skiing trip," Mary tells us. "Today (Thursday 5th January) all eight horses will be having their shoes put back on and starting their fitness regime. Apart from once or twice I have hardly sat on a horse since the season ended in October but my time has been filled with talks and demos, meetings with sponsors and dinners in London."

"Both girls who work for me start back today," Mary explains. "Jodie Rorke who is my head girl and is coming in to her 4th year with me, and Emma Moore who is in her 3rd year with me. The farrier is booked and then the hacking will begin. They all have a couple of weeks hacking round the roads down here in Devon which will gradually increase over the weeks, the youngsters will start a bit of schooling after the third week and I will use the horse walker a little bit but I prefer not to use it too much because if I was a horse I would much rather go out for a hack! The older horses hack out for longer as they don't need as much educating as the young ones."

"The first events start in March and all the young horses will go to Moreton Horse Trials early on in the month, while the older horses will go out in the middle of the month. Imperial Cavalier and Kings Temptress are really my two Olympic possibilities, although Apache Sauce is on the list but is more back up. All three will be entered for Badminton but it is likely that Imperial Cavalier and Kings Temptress will run at Chatsworth CIC*** the following weekend instead as they don't have to prove themselves. I am quite excited about what this year holds and am totally focused on Greenwich! Realistically I think Imperial Cavalier (Archie) is the stronger contender for the Olympics, as long as I can keep his brain busy and curb his enthusiasm in the dressage! I am leaving no stone unturned in preparation for Greenwich!"

"I am also very excited to be jetting off to Botswana in February for a horseback safari with In The Saddle - the whole family are going so it should be wonderful!"

Keep an eye out for more updates from Mary as we get closer and closer to London 2012!