Courtney Puts “Final Polish” on USA Dressage Team Training
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GLADSTONE, New Jersey, Sept. 17–Courtney King-Dye, recovering from a serious horse accident more than six months ago, on Friday helped put the “final polish” on USA dressage team training before leaving for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
“Courtney took care of the training,” said Steffen Peters on Ravel who was a team mate of Courtney’s at the 2008 Olympics.
“She gave us the final polish on the last day of training. We had an awesome day.”
The USA team of Steffen, Tina Konyot, Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Todd Flettrich along with alternates Catherine Haddad and Pierre St. Jacques has spent the past two weeks in final training under the direction of Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters at Gladstone, an hour from New York City.
Courtney’s accident in Florida in March which left her in a coma for three weeks shocked the global horse community. Her sense of humor and determination during her rehabilitation has been equally inspiring.
Team mates and fans around the world rallied to support her and raise money to help pay medical expenses.
As a horse crazy kid from Michigan, Courtney worked her way to the top of the sport with support from U.S. Olympian Lendon Grey who, with Courtney’s husband, has stood beside her longtime student throughout this ordeal.
Courtney had been training the the Hampton Green Farm-owned PRE stallion Grandioso with the goal of seeking to qualify for the U.S. WEG selection trials. She was scheduled to compete Grandioso in his first Grand Prix the same week of her accident on another horse.
The team horses make the 12-hour drive to Kentucky on Saturday and the riders will fly into Cincinnati, an hour from the Kentucky Horse Park.
The dressage competition, the world championships held only once every four years and outside Europe for the first time, begins at the Kentucky Horse Park on Monday, Sept. 27 with two days of the Grand Prix team competition.
The Grand Prix Special is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 29 and the Musical Freestyle for Friday night, Oct. 1.
The Grand Prix and Special are broken into two sessions each day with separate tickets required for each session, priced from $42 to $63 (€32-48) per session for the Grand Prix and $67 to $88 (€51-67) for the Special, which about doubled the price for an all-day ticket from the previous WEG in Aachen. Germany.