We catch up with Mary King at Belton

It was fantastic to catch up with Mary King at Belton and see her Olympic contenders in action. It has certainly been a hectic month for Mary and it doesn't look set to let up with Badminton just over a month away.

"Imperial Cavalier and Kings Temptress, my Olympic hopefuls, both went to Belton. Imperial Cavalier did a very good dressage and was lying 2nd out of a huge section, but I didn't show jump or cross country him. Kings Temptress did a 'not so good' dressage, she was very jolly, then show jumped really well, but again I decided not to run her cross country. This was mainly because the selectors have asked me to ride them both competitively at Chatsworth and running them at Belton would not have made any difference other than increased the risk of injury, so they are being protected! Apache Sauce had his last run before Badminton at Belton, he had one show jump down and did a good dressage and a brilliant cross country round, I didn't hurry him so we did have time penalties, but I was pleased with him. I am very lucky that we have fabulous hills around us so I can keep his fitness up without having to run him again before Badminton."

"I also rode MHS King Joules in his second intermediate of the year, but again only did dressage and show jumping because he ran at Somerley the previous Tuesday and was second in the intermediate. I felt it was too close together to run him again but he did a good dressage and then a beautiful show jumping round. Emily rode Mr Hi Ho in the Under 21 selection trial for the Juniors, she did a very good dressage but sadly had 2 show jumps down but then went clear inside the time cross country so finished 11th but as the second best Junior so she is also doing well!"

"So far the season is running smoothly, it is hard to see other competitors galloping around and winning at this time of year and I have to hold myself back from being more competitive because the chances are the horses won't be seen later in the year if you push them too hard now. The next few weeks will be focusing on some the younger horses, Larkhill and Sapey, then MHS King Joules will be doing an intermediate at Hambledon."

"I am really enjoying the new lorry, and I am also really excited because the new season's Mary King clothing range has now launched at Joules, do have a look, I hope you like it!"