Articles: Press Release
Courtney King and Idocus Impress Judges at Aachen CDIO***
Courtney King and Idocus in the Grand Prix at the CDIO3* Aachen, Germany, 2007. PHOTO CREDIT: Ilse
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WELLINGTON, FL - July 14, 2007 - Courtney King riding Idocus made her debut at the Aachen CDIO***, held July 4-8, 2007, in Aachen, Germany, and competed against the top 32 riders in the world who represented 14 countries.
Representing the U.S., King, 29, of New Milford, CT, and Idocus delivered performances that qualified them from the Grand Prix into the Grand Prix Special, and then into the Grand Prix Kur to Music, which permits only the top 15 competitors.
With three opportunities to impress the judges, King earned higher scores each time she cantered into the sold-out 8,000-seat stadium. On her first day in the ring for the Grand Prix-CDIO, King earned 66.875% for 19th place in the starting roster of 32
horses - a score high enough to qualify her to compete in the Special. In the Grand Prix Special-CDIO, King and Idocus earned 68.480% for 10th place in the field of 30 horses. In the Grand Prix Kur to Music, King and Idocus received a score of 71.300% to
finish 11th in the elite field of 15.
All but one of the internationally acclaimed officials presiding at the dressage ring were judging King for the first time in her career and they were impressed with her riding abilities, rewarding her
with scores of 8 out of a possible 10 on several occasions for Rider Position and Effectiveness. The judging panel was comprised of Leif Toernblad of Denmark; Dr. Evi Eisenhardt of Germany; Dr. Vincenzo Truppa of Italy; Wim Ernes of the Netherlands; and
Beatrice Bürchler-Keller of Sweden. "Nice and correct way of riding!" complimented Judge Toernblad. "Very elegant rider with a good seat."
King was encouraged to compete in Aachen by U.S. Dressage Chef d'Equipe Klaus
Balkenhol as a step towards gaining exposure to European judges and preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Selection Trials.
"Competing at Aachen was an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure," King said. "I learned many things
from my experience there that will help with my future career. The reason that Klaus felt that it was important for me to go to Aachen was to show in front of the European judges, and I did not appreciate the significance of that until I was there. I am
accustomed to the U.S. where we have many European judges, but they are normally the same judges, so it was very different to be in front of a complete panel that didn't know me. The biggest thing that I took away from Aachen was inspiration. What a great
thing to compete in the same ring with the best in the world, to watch the preparation and be involved in the same sphere. I strive to excel as they do."
Leading up to Aachen, King and Idocus, the 17-year-old Dutch stallion owned by
Christine McCarthy, represented the U.S. at the Rolex FEI World Cup(TM) Final in Las Vegas, NV, in April where they finished in 6th place. The duo qualified for the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Championship in Gladstone, NJ, in June
where they earned the Reserve Champion title. King and Idocus were invited by the Aachen CDIO3* show management to represent the U.S. in July.
King commented on her rides at Aachen, saying, "I was actually the happiest with my Grand Prix.
Idocus traveled extremely well and felt very fresh. Although the piaffe could have been more active and we had one small mistake, I thought the test flowed well and Idocus really enjoyed it. I think the judges were very happy to see Idocus showing well
again." Though King was new to the judging panel, Idocus had been shown previously in Europe and in Greece at the 2004 Olympic Games by Marlies van Baalen of the Netherlands, but has not competed overseas since being reunited with King in 2005.
While Idocus traveled well to Aachen, he never settled at the show and was extremely restless in his stall, King noted, which had an affect on his energy level in the ring. "He spent his nights pacing and spinning in the box, so by the end of
the week he was very tired," King said. "He was still very good and tried hard, but I knew that he had drained himself by never resting. However, our freestyle went nicely with the music and despite a couple of bobbles, it was well received by
King returned to the U.S. after the Aachen CDIO3*, but plans to resume her exposure abroad this fall when she will train and compete in Europe in November and December. King plans to travel to Florida in January for the 2008
winter show season and the USEF High Performance qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
"As far as the Olympics, I think any rider would say the same thing: 'one day at a time'," King said. "Idocus is wonderful and happy
and fit, and if he stays inspired and amused by the work, then we will go through the selection trials. If he decides that it's time for him to read and play golf, then I won't push him. I also have a younger horse, Mythilus, who I will start in Grand Prix
this month and who shows great promise. I've been striving all of my life for a chance to go to the Olympics, and I would say that next year I have a chance. It's a slim chance, and I won't push my younger horse beyond his comfort or my older horse beyond
his happiness, but it's pretty cool to have a chance. We'll see what happens, but at the moment I'm counting my lucky stars to be in this position!"
For complete results of CDIO*** Aachen, visit http://results.chioaachen.de/resultpage07/prf_programm_e.html
This photo may be used only in relation to this press release.
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