Equestrian News : Hi Emily, thank you for accepting our interview. First of all, you are a 20 years old young rider and already a star of your sport. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Emily King : I’m really lucky to have a great team around me at the moment – of horses, owners, sponsors and grooms… they are the ones who make everything happen!
EN : You started riding really young – what was your first feeling on a horse?
EK : To be honest I can’t actually remember as I was so young – I think about 2 years old! But from the first moment I could remember it was the best feeling in the world!
EN : Who gave you the desire to ride? And beyond that, who gave you the will to compete in XC ?
EK : I grew up with Mum competing at the top level, so she was the one who initially introduced me to horses. Since then she has been a huge inspiration for me, and nowadays we rarely don’t attend a competition together.
EN : Does your mothers’ carrer give you a special motivation ?
EK : Definitely. She has an incredible life story of how she started with nothing and then proceeded to become a multi Olympic Medalist and World No1. I think there are few people nowadays who would have to drive determination and focus to do what she has done.
EN : You have many horses, can you introduce us to the main ones ?
EK : I currently have six horses in my stables. Dargun, Cooley Currency and Walitze F Vejgard are my top horses – Dargunand Cooley Currency will be competing at CCI*** this season and Walitze F Vejgard will aim for the Young Rider European Championships.
EN : How do you manage the annual schedule of your different horses ?
EK : I make a plan at the beginning of every season, working out exactly what events each horse will attend and what will be their main aims and goals for the year. It is good to have a plan leading up to your Spring and Autumn CCI’s, but also good to have a back up plan just incase.
EN : What’s your biggest competition yet ?
EK : I competed at Badminton CCI**** in the Spring which was the most prestigious event I’ve competed at so far. Competing at Pau CCI**** the Autumn before was also very special to me, as it was my first CCI****.
EN : You were running your very first CCI **** in Pau, in 2015, at only 19 years old, and took fourth place. How does it feel to run your first 4*?
EK : I was extremely fortunate to have built up a super relationship the past 4 years with Brookleigh… we had good form at *** and I had great confidence in him for our first CCI****. He always tries his hardest, and I knew if I rode him well and didn’t make any big mistakes that we could stand a good chance… and it was one of those occasions when it all just went to plan!
EN : Is your mother proud of you?
EK : Yes I think she is very proud of me! She as well knew, that potentially, we could do well… but then with horses there are so many uncontrollable variables, you never know how exactly things will work out! So she was just as happy as I was with our result!
EN : You were in Lignères a few weeks ago. Do you like to run French competitions?
EK : I loved Ligneres, it was a super competition – a lovely event site, with really friendly people and good weather… so I will definitely be coming back! I also hope to compete at Le Lions d’Angers soon and hopefully Pau again !
EN : You also participated in many European Championships, tell us about them in a few words.
EK : Yes, I’ve been lucky to have been selected for four Junior European Champs and also two Young Rider European Champs, winning Individual Silver at Juniors and Team Gold at Young Riders. I love competing at European Championships and the honour of representing your country is a fantastic feeling.
EN : Do you consider yourself a high-level rider or a rider in the making ?
EK : Because I’ve already competing at two CCI****’s, I feel I’ve had a taste of top level eventing, but would like to win CCI****’s in the future, to then definently be recognized as a high-level rider.
EN : The Rio Olympics took place last summer : do you dream of the Olympics?
EK : Yes definitely… winning Olympic gold would be my biggest dream. » EN : What advice can you give to a young rider who would like to become a high-level rider ? EK : « Work hard until your idols become your rivals, and follow your dreams!
EN : Because it’s important to us, would you like to thank someone ?
EK : My parents, owners, sponsors and all of my incredible support team.
Thank you Emily for agreeing to be our first international interview. We wish you success throughout the year !