By Tom Masters at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Kitty King responded to being snubbed for the upcoming World Championships with an outstanding dressage performance to sit at the top of the leaderboard after day two of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
King was tipped to feature at the Team World Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy later this month but did not find herself in the team or on the reserve list.
But the Chippenham equestrian showed the British team just what they are set to miss, completing her dressage on Vendredi Biats with the third-best score at Burghley since 1978 of 21.2 to sit at the very top of the standings after day two.
And King, 40, revealed that missing out on selection for the World Championships acted as a major motivator in her quest to prove selectors wrong.
She said: “To be honest I’ve definitely got a point to prove.
“I was left off the team for the World Championships, and that was the main aim, so I’m here to prove a point.
“The course is tough, it’s big and it comes up thick and fast.
“There’s plenty to do tomorrow, so we’ll enjoy the moment for a minute and then it’s head down and focus on tomorrow.”
After receiving the best Burghley dressage score in six years, King was understandably emotional, and that emotion was compounded after Vendredi Biats made several mistakes in the warm-up.
She added: “To be honest, I’m always a crier and after that I was straight away thinking don’t cry!
“Then when I saw he was in the lead I burst into tears like a baby which is quite standard for me when I do well.
“He is quite a sharp horse, that is his trademark unfortunately and today he decided to keep tripping up in the warm up which is a little bit frustrating because he’d then get cross with himself and leap in the air.
“I was just saying to him 'for goodness sake just pick your feet up that’s the only job I can’t do for you'
“That’s your job, take control and in the end he did that and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
“It’s fantastic to be back here at Burghley, it’s a lovely event, the crowds are always so enthusiastic, it’s a great venue and I’m really looking forward to it all."
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (1-4 September 2022) returns after a two-year hiatus, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A major international sporting and social event for over 50 years it attracts 80 of the world’s top equestrians and over 170,000 visitors. For more information visit