Mary King sees Emily's 4* debut

We caught up with a very proud Mary King to hear all about Emily's very first 4* - the news was worth waiting for!

"I have been official groom this month! Apart from a couple of talks, I have been driver and supporter for Emily and it has been amazing to see her do so well. We went to Osberton where Dargun was just pipped to first place by 0.5 of a mark."

"Zara was doing the CCI** and had a very scary near collision with another horse on the cross country course. There was a loop on the course where the paths crossed and the horse in front was going quite slowly and as Emily was around 7 or 8 strides before her fence another horse came flying out at her - both horses spooked and Emily tried to continue but it threw Zara off her rhythm and she ended up with 20 penalties. It was a real shame but thankfully wasn't as nasty as it could have been. On the way back from Osberton we took Charlemagne to do her second advanced class at Little Downham and she came 4th with a very nice double clear which was the perfect way to finish her season."

"In the build up to Pau Emily had dressage training and we set off with the two horses, Brookleigh for the 4* and Dargun for the CIC**. The journey started on the Sunday and we took the ferry from Portsmouth to France and then drove to Pau. We stop every four hours to unload the horses, give them a walk and graze and a good chance to drink - the picnic areas in France are ideal for this. We do offer them water throughout the journey but they pretend they don't want it most of the time until we unload them. These breaks are very important to help ensure they arrive at their competition in the best health."

"Emily has been dreaming of riding in her first 4* since she knew they existed so it was such a lovely sight to see her taking part. It went smoothly from the start. Dargun lead the dressage and did a clear cross country with just one show jump down and ended up in the top five which helped distract Emily, in a good way, from just focusing on the 4*. Then she and Brookleigh did the best test they have done - particularly as it was the first time at this level and with the more complicated movements. They were lying in 3rd place behind Michael Jung on his two horses after the dressage."

"The cross country was not an overly big course when compared to Badminton and Burghley but it was technical with lots of accurate riding needed and careful effective judgement. Emily gave Brook a fabulous round and they finished clear inside the time by 6 seconds and moved up to 2nd place after one of Michael's horses went lame. The showjumping is renowned to be the biggest 4* showjumping course and it was sure enough causing lots of penalties. Emily and Brook's showjumping hasn't always been the greatest but she rode the best she has ever ridden a showjumping round and had one fence down which we were thrilled about. She ended up 4th place, best Brit, leading lady and was the youngest rider of all!"


"Now it is on to resting - all the horses are on holiday until the new year and Emily is planning a little travelling with friends before she heads off to Marcus Ehning's yard to ride for him in December and January - that will be an amazing opportunity for her."

"We are still shocked after William Fox-Pitt's fall and wishing him all the best in his recovery. He was due to teach some clinics in the US in the next few weeks so I am now stepping in to teach them for him. He is such a great friend and we are keeping our fingers crossed that he makes a full recovery to the William that we all know."