Patience proved a winning virtue for Kitty King, who got Great Britain off to a flying start at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships.
King, who is part of the four-strong British team alongside Nicola Wilson, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt, set the tone for a memorable opening day at Blair Castle when she posted a dressage score of 36.9 penalties on Persimmon.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from him,” she said.
“Tracie Robinson (Great Britain eventing team dressage coach) has been really helpful all week just trying to get him right. We haven’t worked him up often, we’ve done lots of stretching and softening work.
“I was getting a bit tetchy to do more and ask for more, and she told me to hold fire and wait for the day, and she was right. He really did deliver for me.”
After her dressage heroics, King must now refocus for Saturday’s cross-country test, when she will be pathfinder for the British quartet as the medal race begins to hot up.
“I was a little surprised when Yogi (Great Britain chef d’equipe Yogi Breisner) said would I go first,” she added.
“Because I haven’t been on a team before, I thought they would put me in the middle somewhere, so I kind of got that in my head. I’’ve had a bit of time to get my head round it, and it’s not as bad as I thought.
“You want to make sure you get a good round – and a quick one – for the team, so there is a bit more pressure than when you are riding for yourself, but we will do our absolute utmost and hope to have a good round. He is a solid cross-country horse, so hopefully he will be alright.”