Courtney King-Dye and Harmony's Mythilus Named to USEF Nominated Entry for 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA - July 2, 2008 - Courtney King-Dye rode Harmony's Mythilus and Idocus to third and fourth place respectively in the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship/USEF Olympic Games Selection Trials at the 2008 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions on June 21-22 and June 28-29 at the Oaks Blenheim/Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
As a result of their stellar performances and #3 ranking after these Selection Trials, King-Dye, 30, of New Milford, CT, and Harmony's Mythilus, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation, have been named to the USEF Nominated Entry for the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.
Based on his #4 ranking at the Selection Trials, Idocus, an 18-year-old KWPN stallion that King-Dye leases from owner Christine McCarthy, will accompany the nominated horses to quarantine in Aachen, Germany, as King-Dye's substitute mount for the Olympic Games.
"What can I say? This is the culmination of 21 years of blood, sweat, tears and dreaming," said King-Dye. "On Monday morning when I walked into the stable and Debbie and Steffen both greeted me with 'Hello, teammate!' it was the greatest feeling in the world. I feel so lucky that I could reach this dream because I know that sometimes people can work as hard as possible, be very, very good riders, and still never have this chance. It takes a lot of good fortune and opportunity to have the right horse at the right time, have him stay healthy and fit and be able to show him at his best on the given day. I really can't thank my team enough - my owners, current and previous, clients, husband, grooms, vets, coaches, farriers, and physical therapists. It is a huge team effort and I never could have done it on my own."
King-Dye and her mounts were two of the top 12 combinations in the United States that qualified to compete in the national championship and selection trials. King-Dye and Idocus were ranked #3 in the nation and Harmony's Mythilus were ranked #7, but over the two weekends it was 'Myth' who placed higher in each of the four tests.
The first Selection Trial kicked off on June 21 with the Grand Prix. King-Dye rode Harmony's Mythilus to fourth place with a score of 70.208% and piloted Idocus to fifth place with 69.042%. On June 22, competition continued with the Grand Prix Special and King-Dye and her mounts earned higher scores and placings - Harmony's Mythilus finished in third place with 73.160% and Idocus notched fourth place with 70.20%.
The classes were weighted 35% for the Grand Prix and 20% for the Grand Prix Special, putting King-Dye in third position overall with Harmony's Mythilus and fourth position overall with Idocus at the end of the first Selection Trials.
"The selection trials just got better and better for both Idy and Myth," King-Dye said. "The first Grand Prix, I was a little too easy on Idy, and I rode Mythy very conservatively because I had to in order to make a clean test. For the Special, I could trust Myth more, let out his frame, and take some risks. That made a huge difference. And Idy I simply prepared better, so he was better."
The second Selection Trial started on June 28 with the second Grand Prix competition. Once again, King-Dye upped the ante with both horses. Aboard Harmony's Mythilus, King-Dye captured second place with a score of 75.208%. With Idocus, King-Dye earned fourth place with 69.958%. On June 29, in the Grand Prix Freestyle, King-Dye clinched her rankings in the Olympic Selection Trials with outstanding scores on both horses. With Harmony's Mythilus, King-Dye rode to music themed on Cat Stevens' "Sad Lisa" and earned a whopping 78.050% for third place. Aboard Idocus, King-Dye rode the Broadway show tunes-themed freestyle that the duo performed at the 2007 and 2008 World Cup Finals and scored 75.40% for fifth place.
The classes were weighted 35% for the Grand Prix and 10% for the Grand Prix Freestyle.
"The second week, Idy was at the very beginning of the class, and although his score was nearly the same, I was happier with the ride. He received some 9s on his piaffe," recounted King-Dye. "And Myth was out of this world. He was so much more on my seat, so I could let his frame out to the maximum and really go for it in the extensions and short sides. It was an incredible feeling ride. Both horses were very good for the Freestyle. Idy the whole two weeks was not at his best, but he did a very good job. I had never ridden Myth's freestyle before, so when I'm more comfortable with it I can make it a little more dramatic, but Myth was awesome, and I love the way the music feels with him."
King-Dye and Harmony's Mythilus finished the competition with a final overall combined score of 73.333%. The score gave them a third place finish in the Grand Prix Championships and in the Dressage Selection Rankings for the Olympic Games.
King-Dye and Idocus completed the Festival with a final overall combined score of 70.230%. The percentage placed them in fourth place in the Grand Prix Championships and in the Dressage Selection Rankings for the Olympic Games.
"I can't say enough times how thankful I am to all the amazing people who helped me to get here: the Malones, Rich Malloch, Renee Isler, Purina, Lendon, all the Questers, my clients and grooms. We still have work to do and seven weeks left to keep the horses well 'bubble-wrapped' and prepare. What an amazing journey - I can't wait to continue."
PHOTO CAPTION: Courtney King-Dye and Harmony's Mythilus. PHOTO CREDIT: Terri Miller. This photo may only be used in relation to this press release.
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