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Back In The Saddle with Kitty King

Back In The Saddle

November news from Kitty King


It felt so good to be back on a horse! After many weeks in plaster it was quickly evident the surgeon had done a great job pinning it. Just four days out of the cast and I was back on a horse – riding four a day. My arm however, has taken on a look all of its own….yes its true, I have developed ‘man hair’! Slightly concerned at the black hair all over my lower arm, I understand that this proliferation is due to increased blood circulation and lack of light under the cast…either way it’s not a good look and I keep telling Ben I needed some winter sun to bleach it!

While I was out of action, the home team did a fab job of keeping the string fit and well. Mum did loads of lunging and hacking and Ben helped her with the galloping. Finally Nick Burton kept everyone’s flatwork up to speed.

So, 10 days ‘post cast’ I headed to Gatcombe with three. Mo Cuiske (Henry) finished a great second in the Intermediate – we probably could have won, but a run was needed to blow the cobwebs away, I was definitely rusty. Whilst he jumped brilliantly cross country, I kept the handbrake slightly on and picked up five time penalties as a result.

Ceylor LAN (Sprout) led the dressage in the Intermediate section but he too was short of match practice so I opted for steady clears in both show jumping and cross country to finish fourth.

Finally, Persimmon ran to his very best, retaining the 2 star title he took last year and winning his owners a fabulous spa break into the bargain.

Next came Osberton – this is always a focal point of the season as it is the British Young Horse Championships and with Henry in the 7 year olds and Sprout and Mouse in the 6 year olds I needed some great results to finish the British season here.

Henry’s test was in the worst imaginable rain, trying to stay in the saddle was like sitting on a bar of soap and when at the final halt I tipped my head to salute the judges, what came off the brim of my topper was akin to Niagara Falls! That said, he did an excellent test – he still finds dressage difficult but bless him he tried his heart out and went into the cross country phase in equal fourth place. And what a cross country round it was…he was awesome and gave me the most phenomenal ride. Now cross country has an optimum time and all riders wear a stop watch and have markers throughout the course to check they are on target. Ideally you want to finish bang on the optimum time. If you finish over you accrue time faults. If you are on the same score as another competitor and you both go clear inside the time, the horse closest to the optimum will go ahead on points. Unfortunately, Henry and I were held on the course due to a fall in front of us. This meant when re-started - my stopwatch also re-started and we went a bit too quick on the last part of the course and ended up behind the other horse on level marks.

One down, show jumping was a disappointment but Henry still completed the competition in overall 3rd place.

Mouse and Sprout ran in the six year old final – Mouse went well and finished 11th. Sprout was in equal fi rst after dressage – back to that wretched optimum time stuff again…however we got it right on the cross country course and managed to finish bang on time and take the lead.

Clear show jumping and he had done it, ‘Sprout’ was the National six year old Champion…as well as the cover star of Mole Valley Farmers Country Catalogue.

So with just two events left, I was really proud to be selected for the British Nations Cup Team for the final round of the series at Boekelo in Holland. Persimmon was awesome (bar one unlucky show jumping pole) and finished his first 3 star in fifth place and best of the British.

Even better, the British Team finished second which was enough to secure the overall title relegating the Germans to second place. This series is great experience and we have been extremely lucky to receive full funding for the Nations Cup series from The Lottery and UK Sport.

So that just leaves one final event Le’Lion D’Angers in France. This competition holds the Word Young Horse Championships and I feel privileged to have been selected with Sprout (Ceylor LAN).

Source Details

Mole Valley Farmers - Kitty King

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