USEF Leading Dressage Rider Courtney King Returns from Europe to Claim Victory at the Gold Coast Opener CDI-W/CDI-Y
RELEASE: January 31, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Mary Hilton
Courtney King rode three grand prix horses at the Gold Coast Opener Festival CDI-W/CDI-Y Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, January 25-27, in West Palm Beach, FL, and collected top placings for each mount in this first qualifying competition on the 2008 Florida circuit for the USEF National Grand Prix Championship/Olympic Games Selection Trials.
King's grand prix mounts were Idocus, an 18-year-old KWPN stallion owned by Christine McCarthy; Harmony's Mythilus, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Harmony's Sporthorses; and Rendezvous 3, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Francine Walker.
With scores earned at the Gold Coast Opener, King and her three grand orix mounts are placed very well on the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage & Selection Trial Ranking List. King and Idocus are ranked #1. King and Harmony's Mythilus are ranked #11. King and Rendezvous 3 are ranked #16.
"This show was a personal victory for me because with the three grand prix horses, there was not a single mistake in any of the six tests we competed in," King said. "There were a few miscommunications, but no tempi change mistakes, no pirouette change mistakes, and no zig-zag mistakes, so I was really happy."
On opening day of the show, King rode all three horses in the FEI Grand Prix CDI, competing on a roster of 29 entries representing five countries. King claimed second place with Harmony's Mythilus with a score of 71.125%. King and Idocus captured third place with 70.75%. King and Rendezvous 3 earned ninth place notching 65.208%.
"I was very, very happy with Myth," King said. "I gave him some down time when he got back from Europe and only started building him back up again this week, so I didn't expect him to be in top form, but he was really good. He put in a very clean test. I hadn't been practicing too much piaffe because with him that's something that's always there, but he got a little nervous going into it in the show ring and got a little quick, so that actually wasn't the best that he could do. Other than that, he really put in a solid test. He's just getting better and better. I'm really excited about him, especially coming into this first qualifier."
For Saturday's competition, King rode Rendezvous 3 in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI. The duo earned 65.280% for sixth place. "I was really pleased with her in the grand prix and the special," King said. "It was only her third time competing in the grand prix and it was her very first grand prix special. She's not a naturally muscular horse so we are working on building up muscle. Being as green as she is at this level, she put in two very solid tests. I was really happy to get 65s in front of those judges. The judges' comments were all really positive about her potential."
On Sunday, King rode Idocus in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI and claimed victory over a field of eight international horses with a score of 76.30%.
"I was really happy with Idocus. He came out really into it, really up and light in the bridle," King said. "It was nice in front of this panel of international top-level judges to be getting into those mid-70s again because the past couple of times I've ridden it I've had mistakes and been stuck around 72, so coming into World Cup and Olympics it's nice to see those mid-70s again," King noted. "I'm considering going for the World Cup with Idocus."
King's freestyle features a high degree of difficulty and a wonderful soundtrack created by Terri Gallo that includes "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," "Fiddler on the Roof," and other Broadway show tunes. King and Idocus have performed this freestyle for victories in 2007 at the PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby, USEF National Grand Prix Championship, and Washington International Horse Show Dressage Invitational. It was als