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Courtney King and Idocus Qualify at PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby

King and Idocus Ranked #1 on USEF National GP & Olympic Selection Trial List

King and Harmony's Wyoming #1 in USEF National Developing Horse Standings

WELLINGTON, FL - March 6, 2008 - Courtney King of New Milford, CT, with Idocus, an 18-year-old KWPN stallion owned by Christine McCarthy, entered the PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W ranked #1 in the FEI World Cup Standings for the North American League. After scoring 72.55% in the Grand Prix Freestyle, King and Idocus finished the competition maintaining their #1 rank in the league and will be one of two combinations to represent the United States at the FEI World Cup Final.

The North American League, comprised of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., is allotted two spots at the World Cup and the U.S. secured both spots. Jane Hannigan of Harvard, MA, with her own Maksymillian also qualified at the PhelpsSports Palm Beach Dressage Derby to represent the U.S. at the World Cup, ranked as the #2 American behind King. The World Cup Final will be held in s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, on March 27-30.

King and Idocus will be representing the United States at the World Cup for the second consecutive year. They were one of four American combinations that competed in the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas, NV, and finished in sixth place.

"It is an honor to be going to the World Cup for the second consecutive year," said King. "Last year we were a real underdog to get a spot, and it was a thrill to get my feet wet in the international arena in Las Vegas! This year I feel that both 'Idy' and I are more solid. It's hard to believe that he is feeling better despite getting older!"

At the PhelpsSports Derby CDI-W, held February 29 through March 3, in Loxatchee, FL, King competed Idocus in the Grand Prix de Dressage on Friday and the Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday. Up against a top field of 32 horses from four countries in the Grand Prix, King and Idocus finished in second place with a score of 72.00%.

In the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle sponsored by PhelpsSports.com, competing against a roster of 15 horses, the King and Idocus performed the technically challenging kur to Broadway tunes that they used at the 2007 World Cup Final and notched third place with a score of 72.55%. King and Idocus will perform their freestyle to Broadway show tunes at s'Hertogenbosch.

The scores King and Idocus earned at the PhelpsSports Derby by King also secured their #1 position on the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage and Selection Trial Ranking List. The USEF National Grand Prix Championship / Olympic Games Selection Trials will be held the last two weekends in June in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

"I was very pleased with Idy's Grand Prix," said King. "It was the best he felt in the piaffe in the ring to date! I was not happy with my freestyle - I think I simply need to practice it more. It is always so hard to practice freestyles, but before the last show I made myself keep practicing it. Then before this show I was too confident from the success of the previous show, so I only practiced it once and we had several mistakes. So now I know!"

King and Harmony's Wyoming #1 in USEF National Developing Horse Standings

King also competed two horses, Timber and Harmony's Wyoming, in five national open classes at the PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby and claimed four wins and one red ribbon.

King rode Timber, an eight-year-old-Friesian gelding owned by Constance Sisler, in three Third Level Tests. In Third-1 on Friday, King and Timber placed second in a field of 15 horses with a score of 69.231%. In Third-2 on Saturday, King and Timber won, topping a field of 14 entries with a score of 67.436%. Wrapping up with Third-3 on Sunday, King and Timber claimed victory again, besting the roster of 13 entries with 69.767%.

Aboard her own Harmony's Wyoming, a seven-year-old, Hanoverian gelding, King competed in the USEF Developing Horse Test on Thursday and took first place over the field of seven horses with a score of 70.455%.

King and Harmony's Wyoming are now ranked #1 in the USEF National Developing Horse Ranking List for the 2008 National Championship sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and PSI. The pair's score at the PhelpsSports Derby was their first mark in the Developing Horse program, and proved to be the highest percentage earned to date on the roster of 28 horses. King and 'Wyoming' have a current Overall Average of 70.455%.

On Friday, King and 'Wyoming' competed in their first Prix St. Georges and won again, topping the field of 10 horses with a score of 70.083%. Significantly, three 'O' judges were presiding over the class - Gary Rockwell, USA; Evi Eisenhardt, Germany; and Uwe Mechlem, Germany (retired).

"I could not have been happier with Harmony's Wyoming!" beamed King. "He has come along so far in the past eight months. I think he is finally done growing! He made the transition from the six-year-old tests to the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges so smoothly, and right at the start of the season! Now he doesn't need to learn anything new for a while. He is just developing more strength and is easier to collect. It is very fun!"



PHOTO CAPTION: Courtney King and Idocus qualified at the PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W to represent the U.S. at the 2008 FEI World Cup Dressage Final. PHOTO CREDIT: Susan J. Stickle. This photo may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.

 

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