Mary King given two-month ban for dangerous horse riding

Olympic equestrian rider Mary King has been banned from competing for two months after receiving a second warning for dangerous riding.

The 53-year-old from Devon, who won team silver with Great Britain at the London and Athens Olympics, was warned at last week's Bramham Horse Trials.

King pulled up MSH King Joules halfway round the cross-country course.

The ground jury at the event felt she should have pulled up the inexperienced horse sooner than she did.

Eventing yellow cards

  • Handed out by the FEI, which governs international equestrian events.
  • Can be given for dangerous riding, abuse of a horse, incorrect behaviour, incorrect safety equipment and general breaches of the rules.

"I love my horses and love the sport, I am very sorry this has happened," King, who has ridden at six Olympic Games, wrote on her website. 

King received a warning in November last year for dangerous riding on Cavalier Venture during the cross country section of the Young Event Horse Championships at Le Lion d'Angers in October.

The ban means King, who has also won two team eventing world titles with Great Britain, will be unable to ride again until 9 August. Her daughter, Emily, will take her rides.

"The horse I rode at Bramham was disappointingly strong and unruly across country," King wrote.

"I pulled him up halfway around the cross-country course and retired after we had jumped the first part of a rail, ditch, rail combination.

"He dropped his back legs on the first rail and the frangible pin broke. It felt dangerous and neither of us were enjoying ourselves, so I thought it best to stop before we had an accident.

"The ground jury have interviewed me and said I should have pulled up at the fence before.

"They said because I am a high-profile rider/role model for younger riders I should have been more sensible and I received a yellow card for dangerous riding. I was completely shocked and devastated."