Emily King has won the British Horse Feeds under-25 CCl3* national championship at Bramham International Horse Trials in the UK, leading the field from start to finish.
After many years watching her mother — the famous Mary King — compete at Bramham, it was time for Emily to shine. The 22-year-old was the only rider in the competition to finish on her dressage score, riding Jane Del Missier’s Dargun.
Emily made light work of Di Boddy’s technical cross-country track to finish clear within the time. However, she couldn’t afford a single rail in the final showjumping phase, as France’s Thibault Fournier was breathing down her neck in second place riding the Selle Français gelding Siniani De Lathus.
There was a heart-stopping moment when Dargun rattled the first fence, but the 10-year-old Dutch gelding by Vaillant didn’t touch another pole, and they finished on their dressage score of 25.5 penalties.
‘He was bucking and squealing’
“He felt amazing,” said Emily. “When I got on him in the warm-up he was bucking and squealing — it helps him with his spring and attention if he’s a bit jolly.
“He jumped well in the warm-up and carried that through into the ring. The crowd helps him rather than distracting him and the fences were quite spooky here, which helps too. He jumped consistently and was very focused, so I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Thibault stayed in second place, while Emily’s boyfriend Sam Ecroyd finished third with Vicki Irlam’s Master Douglas.
The under-25 event runs alongside the main Equi-Trek CCI3*, which was won by Germany’s rising star Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH. The pair finished on an impressive score of 19.4 penalties, which set a record for the lowest score at a three-star event.
Andrew Nicholson was nearly 10 points adrift in second place with Spring Swallows (28 penalties), while Australia’s Bill Levett was third on Lassban Diamond Lift (28.2 penalties).
Fourth went to Kitty King, who was best of the Brits riding Vendredi Biats, after they added nothing to their dressage of 29.4 penalties. Bellow British rider William Fox-Pit dropped from third place after the cross-country to 11th, when Oratorio II had two down in the showjumping.
Find out how Emily King prepares for success in her Masterclass Xtra when it premieres on Wednesday June 20 at 8pm Eastern on Horse & Country TV.