World champion trains young riders

A school in Cornwall hosted three-time Olympic medalist Mary King MBE for a special riding clinic recently

Polwhele House near Truro in Cornwall invited champion sportswoman Mary King to give a riding clinic to some of its pupils, enabling her to impart specialist advice and expertise.

Mary King has represented Great Britain at six Olympics from 1992 to 2012, winning bronze and silver medals and a silver with team GB at London 2012. She has also won two World Championship gold medals as well as one team bronze and four team gold medals at the European Eventing Championships. She was made an MBE in the 2013 New Year honours for services to equestrianism.

Jo Lyall, riding instructor at Polwhele House, said: “Mary is one of the most successful event riders in the history of the sport so to be able to have her deliver a riding clinic was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils. Despite being slightly star-struck, the children loved it, learned lots and will never forget this experience. It was such an honour to have her here at school.”

Polwhele House offers riding lessons to all its pupils from nursery up to year eight, holding riding events and competitions including dressage, show jumping and beach rides.

The riding clinic involved two 45-minute sessions with three riders in each. Riders were put through their paces by Mary on both the flat and over jumps. The spectators, including parents, friends and other pupils, were able to watch and also learn from Mary’s skill and expertise. 

Alex McCullough, headmaster at Polwhele House, said: ‘We are fortunate to have such excellent equestrian facilities at Polwhele House and hosting a riding clinic with Mary King is just another way we can enhance children’s opportunities in this area.

‘Alongside regular events and lessons, we have also recently launched our new equestrian scholarships, meaning we can provide opportunities and development for talented young riders in Cornwall.’

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