Olympic eventer Mary King MBE put local riders through their paces at a cross-country training clinic organised by The British Horse Society’s Cheshire committee. Mary was part of the Silver medal winning GB eventing team at London 2012 and has also won both the prestigious CCI four star Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials among her many equestrian achievements.
The weather stayed kind for 24 riders who took part at in the event held on the cross-country schooling field at Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre, Cheshire. There were four classes each with six riders across the day, with each group getting two hours of Mary King’s expert tuition. The groups were organised according to skill level with jumping ability ranging from 80cm for those learning the ropes to 105cm for those with more experience wanting to refine their skills. Key learning points riders took away from the clinic were about the importance of maintaining rhythm and a forward seat between fences, and to allow the horse more rein over fences.
Chairman of BHS Cheshire Jane Rigby was delighted with the success of the clinic, reflecting at the end of the day: “The day has been a huge success. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the weather held out for us. Mary King gave lots of great advice and encouragement. “One of the things I learnt was that many riders have their leg too far back, it needs to be more forward to help maintain a secure seat.”
Natalie Mincher-Lockett took part in the clinic with her horse Locksley: “To meet and be tutored by the one and only Mary King was just amazing. I still can't quite believe I was so lucky to be part of it! Thanks to the BHS for putting on the course, it’s given me so much more confidence with my youngster and I’m now so excited about the season!”
Participants were left eager for more, with Emma Hand commenting: “I know everyone in my group enjoyed it. Hopefully there will be more days like this in the future”.
Another rider, Maggie Newton, added: “Mary conveys such encouragement we are now all fired up for the season. Our thanks to the BHS for organising the event, and if Mary comes back to Cheshire please count us in.”
The BHS is dedicated to promoting the work of the Society in the local area and part of this includes providing exciting training events its for local members. Check out the ‘BHS in your area’ pages on the BHS website to find out about future events and how you can be involved.
Photos used with permission from JWP-Photography (www.jwp-photography.co.uk)