Tag Archive: Kitty King

  1. Kitty King throws her hat into the Rio ring

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    Kitty King will return home from the Longines FEI European Championships in Scotland as a major contender for next year’s Rio Olympics.

    While Germany took gold in both the team and individual competitions, led by the imperious Michael Jung, King also left Blair Castle with every reason to be delighted with herself.

    She was part of the silver medal-winning Great Britain team alongside Pippa Funnell, Nicola Wilson and William Fox-Pitt, and was also the highest British individual finisher in fourth place aboard Persimmon, ending just 0.1 of a penalty behind bronze medallist Thibaut Vallette.

    “My horse has really delivered this week and been on really good form and onside with me,” Wiltshire-based King said.

    ” I couldn’t have asked for more — I am just a bit gutted we were 0.1 behind the Frenchman — but I can’t be disappointed at all, and to get a team silver was brilliant.

    “In terms of Rio, I really hope that I can be in the mix, but horses are horses and you don’t know how they will come out next year. They have got to stay in one piece, and it is a long time until next summer.

    “I have got Persimmon and a very nice eight-year-old Ceylor Lan. I would hope to have both horses up there in the reckoning and hopefully in the selectors’ eyes, but anything can happen with horses.

    “The Olympics is definitely a huge goal of mine, and I would love to try and get there.

    “The last few days have been a brilliant experience, and it has been fantastic having such great home support. I heard the crowds the whole way here, which is pretty special. It really was phenomenal support.”

    Image: Olympic logo by Xiaowei, public domain

  2. Double gold for Germany at the FEI European Eventing Championships

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    Michael Jung’s grin as he soared over the final show jump and crossed the finish line said it all. In sealing victory for Germany at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships with a clear round in the showjumping he equalled the record set by Ginny Elliot in 1989 of winning three individual European Championship titles on three different horses.

    The defending champion’s performance on a horse that only has only a fraction of the experience of others in the field was nothing short of remarkable. He finished on his dressage score of 33.5 to win individual gold by nearly 10 penalties.

    “FischerTakinou is a young horse, but he’s a top horse, and he has shown today that he has the quality for the next big championship,” said Jung, who received his medal from Her Majesty The Queen, who was presenting the prizes.

    When Germany’s Yorkshire-born team trainer Christopher Bartle was asked whether he thought Her Majesty might have something to say about an Englishman training the winning German team, he retorted: “I think you’ll find there is quite a lot of German blood in the royal family!”

    Sandra Auffarth and her brilliant partner Opgun Louvo added to their extensive championship medal tally with individual silver.

    “I think we will have a party tonight,” she smiled. “To be part of such a great team is an amazing feeling.”

    The third counting team member, Ingrid Klimke, finished fifth with Horseware Hale Bob.

    Thibaut Vallette, a colonel in the French army, led his country to team bronze and collected the same colour medal in the individual competition.

    “This is my first team championship appearance, so I really didn’t expect this result,” admitted Vallette, who has ridden beautifully all week on the spring-heeled Qing du Briot ENE HN. “The main objective was to qualify the team for the Rio Olympics [both France and the fifth-placed Swedish team succeeded], so for me this is a double victory.”

    Britain has suffered mixed fortunes all week, but hung on to the team silver medal with all but one of its three remaining members jumping clear rounds.

    “Didn’t the girls do brilliantly,” said William Fox-Pitt, who failed to complete yesterday’s cross-country on Bay My Hero, but was there to support the remaining all-female trio.

    Nicola Wilson had a lucky escape when One Two Many crashed through an oxer, but both Pippa Funnell and Kitty King jumped classy clears on their relatively inexperienced horses.

    “Persimmon’s been fantastic all week and he couldn’t have jumped better today,” said a relieved and delighted King. “I knew he could do it so long as I didn’t mess up.”

    There was disappointment, though, for individual Izzy Taylor, whose one fence down on KBIS Briarlands Matilda dropped her from individual bronze to sixth place, but it was still a performance to take heart from.

    “Of course I’m disappointed, but there have been a lot of positives this week and I’ve very much got my eye on Rio next year,” said a philosophical Taylor. After all, her cross-country round was many people’s idea of the performance of the day.

    Image: Michael Jung during the dressage test at the FEI European Eventing Championships, by Jon Stroud, courtesy of the FEI

  3. Kitty King sets Britain on a good track at Blair Castle

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    Great Britain’s cross-country pathfinder, Kitty King, ensured a bright start for the host nation on a wet and dismal day in the Scottish Highlands as the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships reached its pivotal stage at Blair Castle.

    Riders were not only greeted by Ian Stark‘s superbly-designed course, but also by testing weather conditions as heavy rain began falling about 30 minutes before the cross-country start time.

    Nevertheless, King conquered the challenge, collecting just 8.4 time faults aboard Persimmon for a score of 45.3 as Britain looked to stay in touch with overnight leaders and reigning European champions Germany.

    “I was asked to ride the course as I found it and do my own thing, really,” King said.

    “The rails and ditch complex was fairly eventful, but we got throught it. As Yogi (Great Britain chef d’equipe Yogi Breisner) said, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you look like, as long as you go between the flags. My horse was pretty brilliant.

    “It was a bit nerve-wracking going first. It wasn’t the position I assumed I would be going in, but I had a little bit of time to get my head around it and talk it through with our team physio Kate.

    “I had a really good plan before I went out, and it meant I just could stick to it and be confident.

    “It is a massive relief. It feels great not to have let anyone down. That was the thing that was panicking me most – letting the others down.”

    British individual challenger Gemma Tattersall was the early star performer, jumping clear inside the time on Arctic Soul, but Holly Woodhead (DHI Lupison) and Sarah Bullimore (Lilly Corinne) both had time and jumping faults and dropped down the leaderboard.

    Image: Blair Castle, by Adam Storey via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

  4. Kitty King kicks off Britain’s FEI European Eventing Championships campaign

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    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.”