EQUESTRIAN: Classy Kitty makes the grade

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Kitty King, pictured with horse Persimmon, at her Lower Stanton St Quintin base this week  Picture by Diane Vose (DV1036-010) Kitty King, pictured with horse Persimmon, at her Lower Stanton St Quintin base this week Picture by Diane Vose (DV1036-010)

DELIGHTED Kitty King says that receiving some recognition for a sparkling 2013 has given her a major confidence boost for the coming year.

The 31-year-old, who is based in Lower Stanton St Quintin, is celebrating a place among the country’s elite after clinching a place on the British Equestrian Federation’s UK Sport-funded world class programme for the first time in her career.

King helped Great Britain secure victory in last year’s FEI Nations Cup with a fine performance at the final round in Boekolo, Netherlands, and also clinched impressive results at Gatcombe and Barbury.

The Wiltshire rider is hoping to cement a place in the world class squad as she aims to catapult herself to the 2016 Olympic Games.

“It’s really exciting and it’s nice to get that bit of recognition because it shows that people are taking notice of what you’re doing – it’s a nice confidence boost,” said King.

“I’ll get an allowance that helps towards things like physio for both the rider and the horse, which is something that you might not usually pay for yourself. If your shoulder or your back hurts, you usually just get on with it.

“I’ll also get a competition allowance and be able to get free training, which will really help. I’m used to paying for different coaches, be it for dressage or showjumping.

“I’ll be looking to try and stay on the programme because it gives you support in so many ways and I’m looking to go to big competitions like world games – then, there’s Rio 2016 too.

“Going to the Olympics is an aim of mine and I’ve got a few rides that could have the potential to go there. But there’s a long time and an awful lot can go wrong with horses, so we’ll see what happens.”

Despite playing part in Great Britain’s Nations Cup victory last year, King is hoping for a bigger role in this year’s series after a wrist injury prevented her competing in the majority of the rounds.

On Tuesday, the Wiltshire star was at the Unicorn Equestrian Centre in Stow-on-the-Wold to meet with the rest of this year’s Nations Cup squad, with the first event of the series set to take place at Fontainebleau, France, in March.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD, OUT NOW

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