Mary King will saddle up her Olympic silver medal-winning ride from London 2012 at the Badminton Horse Trials but knows that doesn’t automatically mean she’s set to toast success.
King joined forces with Nicola Wilson, Zara Phillips, Kristina Cook and William Fox-Pitt in the team eventing competition at last summer’s Olympic Games aboard Imperial Cavalier.
The British quintet went on to claim silver behind Germany with King bringing Imperial Cavalier, as well as Kings Temptress, out of her yard for the Badminton Horse Trials.
King has enjoyed previous success at Badminton, having won the title in 1992 and 2000, but retired on the cross-country aboard Fernhill Urco at the Kentucky Three Day Event last week.
Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand took victory to keep his hopes of claiming the Grand Slam of Eventing alive – successive wins at Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley needed.
Nicholson achieved the latter last year and just needs victory at Badminton to earn the prize however the same can be said of Fox-Pitt who won Burghley in 2011 and Kentucky in 2012.
Bad weather forced the cancellation of Badminton last year, denying Fox-Pitt the Grand Slam, but officials have determined that a win for him this year will constitute the honour.
King is well aware of the strength of the competition and has responded by bringing out her best horses however she knows she’ll have to work hard if she’s to eventually end on top.
“I have got to go there and try and upset the applecart if I can. I’m taking my two top horses that I have in my yard,” said three-time Olympic medallist King.
“Imperial Cavalier, the one that I won team silver with at the Olympics, he is a top horse, he could give them a real run for their money if everything goes well in each phase.
“The other horse is Kings Temptress and she has won at four-star level and again is quite capable if she goes at her best in each phase and should be up in the running.
“But you never know, I’m going to go out there do my best. It would be absolutely fantastic to win it again. It is the cream of the cream as far are sport eventing goes.
“It is the top event in the world, it is what all us riders are wanting to win, but to win on a year like this when it is so competitive would be unbelievable.
“It will be very hard to do that, but I’ll be trying.”
© Sportsbeat 2013