Articles: Press Release
Courtney King Claims Five FEI Victories at 2007 Dressage at Devon
PHOTO CAPTION: Courtney King and Mythilus, winners of two Grand Prix classes at 2007 Dressage at Devon presented by
WT/Direct. PHOTO CREDIT: Sue
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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WELLINGTON, FL - October 4, 2007 - It's considered the most prestigious show on the East Coast, if not the entire U.S., and only the best of the best emerge as winners at the inimitable Dressage at Devon. Courtney King of
New Milford, Connecticut, wrapped up her weekend with more wins than any other competitor showing in the Performance Division. With five world-class mounts under saddle, King came down the centerline 11 times and galloped the honor round of victory five
times at the 33rd annual Dressage at Devon CDI-W/Y/J presented by WT/Direct, held September 27-30, in Devon, PA.
World-class judging comprised of three Olympic (O) rated judges and six International (I) rated judges provided strict and accurate
scoring throughout the show. The elite panel included Barnabas Mandi, (O) Hungary; Francis Verbeek Von-Rooy, (O) Netherlands; Gotthilf Riexinger, (O) Germany; Trond Asmyr, (I) Norway; Hilda Gurney, (I) USA; Lorraine Stubbs (I) USA; Jacques Van Daele, (I)
Belgium; Jane Weatherwax, (I) USA; and Lois Yukins, (I) USA.
Judge Mandi, president of the Ground Jury, commented on King after her spectacular ride aboard Idocus in the Grand Prix Freestyle, saying, "The rider is young and has a
positive future. For me, it was interesting that a young person was so calm and concentrated, which shows a good quality for a sportsman for the future. The hands were not shaking under the pressure." Mandi is one of seven judges that will preside at
the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Mythilus Wins Two Grand Prix Classes in Devon Debut
Making his debut appearance at Dressage at Devon, Mythilus, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood
gelding owned by Richard Malloch, notched back-to-back victories. In the FEI Grand Prix B, Qualifier for the Grand Prix Special, 'Myth' topped a field of 14 horses with a score of 68.375%. In the FEI Grand Prix Special, Myth again bested a field of 14
horses, solidly claiming the win with a score of 71.00%. The powerful bay gelding by Ferro was the only horse to break the 70-percentile in the Grand Prix Special.
"I'm still just on a high and excited from the ride and how with me he
felt and how exciting it is to pull that kind of a score with those judges," King enthused. "I feel like it's the beginning of the horse's career."
Idocus Notches First Scores Towards Olympic
As the returning champion of the FEI Grand Prix B, Qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle, Idocus, a 17-year-old Dutch stallion owned by Christine McCarthy, showed he was still right on form, notching 71.042%. The elegant bay
stallion was just barely edged into second place in a field of 17 topnotch horses by Canada's Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, who scored 71. 250%. In the electrifying FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, held as the featured event on Saturday night under lights in the
Dixon Oval before a crowd of over 3,000 spectators, King and Idocus ("Idy") presented a flawless rendition of their kur to Broadway show tunes, which they performed at the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Final. The duo scored a whopping 73.00%
and led the class of 15 entries until Denmark's Lars Petersen and Succes scored 73.40%, edging King and Idocus into second place by a mere 4/10th of a point.
Commenting on her Grand Prix ride, King said, "Idy felt a little bit tight in the
warm up, but he was very honest in the test. His piaffe and passage were very rhythmical, and his extended canter was awesome. I wasn't able to get him set up really well before the pirouettes, so one of them was not very good, but without that he was
definitely in the running. Honestly, I was pretty excited to be that close behind such a smashing combination as Ashley and 'Poppy'!"
King was enthusiastic about the freestyle competition as well, enthusing, "Wow, I was blown away by
Lars's freestyle. Such amazing music - I was just giggling with pleasure watching it! And it was very technically difficult as well. It made me really want to make my freestyles better. I was shocked and thrilled to even be so close behind him." With
a grin, King beamed, "It's pretty cool to be at Devon where you can really enjoy and admire the people who kick your butt!"
Rendezvous 3 Claims Double Victories in Small Tour
Rendezvous 3 made her Grand Prix debut at Saugerties this summer, she only had the one qualifying score for Devon, so King showed her in the small tour for the last time in this talented mare's career. The 12-year-old Austrian-bred Warmblood mare owned by
Francine Walker came down centerline three times, and cantered off with the blue ribbon twice. In the FEI Prix St. Georges, Rendezvous scored 67.25% for third place in a huge field of 45 horses. In the FEI Intermediaire I, Rendezvous returned to dominate
the class of 41 entries, scoring 71.250%. The mare was the only horse on the roster to break the 70-percentile. Rendezvous wrapped up her weekend in an extraordinary way - she was the last horse in the last class at this year's Devon, and proved to be the
last horse to gallop a victory lap at this year's show by winning the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle with a score of 71.20%. The mare performed technically challenging canter work and showcased her extended trots to theme music from the film "My Fair
Lady." Again, the impressive Rendezvous was the only entry to score in the 70-percentile.
"Rendezvous' freestyle was a great way to end the show, the season, and the small tour on her!" King said. "Although we went through
some ups and downs during the weekend, 'RV' is always a thrill to ride in the ring. She shows such quality, expression, and elasticity. It is a blast to ride!"
Jubilant Top Contender in FEI Prix St.
King had an exciting weekend with the youngster Jubilant, an eight-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Anne Wood and Virginia Easley. Jubilant ("Eubie") led the class of 45 horses in the FEI Prix St. Georges for almost the
entire class and then ended up tied for the win with Melissa Taylor and Dacardo. Both horses scored 68.667%. The tie was broken in Dacardo's favor based on the Collective Marks, putting Jubilant second. Jubilant also showed in USEF Fourth Level Test 3,
scoring 68.659% for third and USEF Fourth Level Test 2, earning 67.50% for second place.
"I was so proud of Eubie! In a tough field of extremely seasoned small tour horses, he was on top with only one CDI under his belt. He was really
awesome for the Prix St. Georges!" King related enthusiastically. "Then, my super laid back, frankly lazy little stallion could not contain himself for the Friday evening awards ceremony, so I had to actually gallop him around to tire him out
enough so that he wouldn't buck me off! That was an extremely unusual circumstance, which unfortunately deflated his balloon for Saturday. Nevertheless, he is feeling like an upper level horse, completely capable of continuing to be competitive through
the FEI levels. That's exciting!"
Harmony's Wyoming Wins FEI Dressage Test for Six Year Old Horses
King's own six-year-old Hanoverian gelding Harmony's Wyoming started off her weekend with her
first win of this year's Devon, scoring 78.20% in the FEI Dressage Test for Six Year Olds, topping a competitive field of eight entries. Earlier this year, King withdrew 'Wyoming' from the Young Horse Championships in order to continue her training
program with him aimed at Grand Prix, so the win in the class was especially gratifying.
"I was really, really pleased with my decision to take him out of the Young Horse Championships and develop him," King said. "The judges
liked him very much so I felt good about this return to the show ring. I feel that he's on a good course for the future. It was especially nice that Leslie Malone of Harmony Sporthorses, who bought Wyoming for me, came to see him school over the weekend.
She hadn't seen him in a while, so it was fun for her to see the difference in him - the horse with no trot!" King laughed, referring to the fact that previously the gait had been a low point but at Devon the judges gave Wyoming the top scores for
his trot work and called it a 'highlight'.
2007 Dressage at Devon - Record Wins for King
Overall, with five horses and 11 classes to contest in four days - with some of them lasting late into the
night - it was a non-stop, intensely competitive weekend for King. But with five important wins to her credit and the thrill of riding the honor rounds at Devon, it was also the most successful and exciting Dressage at Devon in the 29-year-old rider's
career."Devon is my favorite place to show, and this year was no exception to that rule!" King beamed. "Being a pre-Olympic year we had the benefit of not only excellent judges, but also a very strong competitive field from all over the
place. It made me work very hard! I had several very close second places, which make me strive even more. You can't let a single point slide at Devon or someone is right on your heels - that is very important for all of the riders to push themselves to be
better, and it is inspiring to be competitive in that field!"
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