Courtney King-Dye Gets Ride on Stallion Don Principe

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Courtney King-Dye on Don Principe.
Courtney King-Dye on Don Principe.

COLUMBUS, North Carolina, USA, July 19–The stallion Don Principe will be ridden and trained by Courtney King-Dye, aiming for a place on the U.S. team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Marydell Farm in Columbus, North Carolina, that owns the 10-year-old Hanoverian by Donnerhall out of a Prince Thatch xx dam, SPS Papagena, announced the change in rider on Sunday.

“Prince,” as the stallion is nicknamed, has been trained and ridden by Jim Koford of Raleigh, North Carolina since his arrival in the USA at age six. Throughout their partnership, the pair have collected many honors, including several  championships. Among them was a triple at the 2008 Bengt Lungquist Memorial Championships.

“Due to his obligations to his other clients,” the Marydell statement said, “Jim had sadly reached the conclusion that another rider would need to give Don Principe the chance to further his Grand Prix career.

“Taking into consideration the abilities and qualities that his rider would need, Courtney King-Dye was at the top of the list.”

A major factor in the choice was that “Prince” and Kofford participated in a clinic with Courtney in 2008 which were well received by horse and rider. Courtney herself ridden in clinics with several of the same trainers that Jim has so the methods and techniques were similar.

“Courtney is an elegant and tactful rider with an impeccable education in basics and the upper levels of dressage,” Marydell said. “Her intuitive riding was evident during her first ride on Don Principe at her barn in New York.

“Don Principe has been referred to by judges as powerful and elegant, allowing us to feel that this will be a harmonious and exciting partnership of horse and rider.”

King-Dye has extensive experience with stallions at the highest level of dressage, including Idocus who represented the USA at the World Cup in 2007 and 2008, as well as qualifying as the reserve horse for the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

“As both Idocus and Don Principe are successful dual career breeding stallions, a rare creature requiring an understanding of the physical demands of both careers, we felt this was an important factor in our decision to send Don Principe to her.

“An exciting career lies ahead with Courtney choosing the show schedule with our hopes for qualifying for the 2010 WEG in Kentucky.”