Mary finally gets to compete but has to make a tough decision with Apache Sauce

It has been a challenging month for event rider Mary King with all the cancellations but thankfully the good weather has meant her Olympic schedule is back on track. We caught up with her to find out how she has been getting on...

"We managed to get out at Aston Le Walls, after the event kindly added an extra day, so the younger horses had a run - that is MHS King Joules and Cavalier Venture, as well as Emily's Mr Hi Ho - all of them went well and then it was full steam ahead to Houghton International where I took all five of my rides. MHS King Joules did his first CCI *** and Cavalier Venture did his first CCI*. We had a fantastic week, the sun shone and it was lovely to be busy! Cavalier Venture finished fourth which for a 6 year old was very impressive and MHS King Joules made the big step up to two star despite not having quite the intermediate preparation we had hoped for, but he is naturally brave so I ran him quietly across country and he was just awesome, we had 23 time penalties but that didn't matter because he is such an exciting horse for the future!"

"Imperial Cavalier and Kings Temptress both ran in the three star and Kings Temptress and I were asked to ride on the Nations Cup team for Great Britain, the team (Piggy French, Sarah Cohen and Francis Whittington) won which was great and as we were standing on the podium I thought, fingers crossed we will be standing on a similar podium in a few months time! Both Kings Temptress and Imperial Cavalier were very good, we weren't in the top placings as we were focusing on keeping them sound and giving them a good run and both are feeling good today (Monday 28th May) so all is looking good!"

"Some sad news though, I ran Apache Sauce who is now 16 years old, and he did a good dressage and a lovely clear show jumping round, then we set off cross country and I have detected this year, as often is the case with older horses, that he is often a bit wary of drop fences and galloping down hill. He came to jump a log that dropped into water and he stopped! I thought 'oh Caffrey' and didn't have the heart to smack him, so I brought him round and he slowly jumped it and I finished the course steadily with him but it has now been decided with his owner that we are going to retire him from top level competition. We would be being greedy if we continued to run him and he is sound and clean limbed and it is important that he wants to do his job still. So Emily is going to try and play around at Junior level with him where there is less pressure."

"Emily did her first two star at Houghton and was the only Junior rider there, she did a fantastic dressage and was lying 5th and he went beautifully cross country but they just missed a turn to a double of corners and he stopped because he didn't really know where he was going! Gutting but they carried on and completed the rest of the round brilliantly."

"Now Tess (Kings Temptress) and Archie (Imperial Cavalier) will have time out in the field for a week or so before coming back to work and running at Salperton and then Barbury a bit more competitively, then the next event after that will hopefully be Greenwich! The team selection is due to be announced around the 11th June so watch this space!"