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Courtney King and Idocus Win $25,000 Washington International Horse Show Dressage Invitational

WELLINGTON, FL - October 20, 2007 - Only four top Grand Prix dressage riders are invited each year to compete in the $25,000 Washington International Horse Show Dressage Invitational, providing a showcase of topnotch dressage at the six-day indoor hunter/jumper competition. The 49th Annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), held October 9-14, 2007, at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., featured two nights of Grand Prix dressage, with Courtney King and Idocus claiming a solid victory, earning back-to-back wins for a combined overall score of 72.792%.

Jane Hannigan of Harvard, MA, with her own Maksymilian placed second with 68.604%; Katherine Bateson Chandler of Wellington, FL, aboard Rainier owned by Jane Forbes Clark, placed third with 65.792%; and Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, NJ, riding ECU 8 owned by Dr. and Mrs. Jackson Morgan, placed fourth with 58.250%.

Officiating were FEI judges Michael Poulin (I) USA and Jeanne McDonald (C) USA.

On Thursday evening, October 11, the dressage riders contested the $25,000 WIHS Dressage Invitational Grand Prix. King and Idocus, a 17-year-old Dutch stallion owned by Christine McCarthy, earned 70.208% for first place. "Idocus has such a good brain - he loves a crowd and felt very happy to be showing in the big indoor in downtown Washington D.C.," said King. "Although our test wasn't problem-free, he felt very young and vibrant, so he was able to show a lot of quality to make up for the two little mistakes."

The following evening, Friday, October 12, the dressage riders wowed the crowd in the $25,000 WIHS Dressage Invitational Musical Freestyle. King and Idocus again claimed victory, scoring an impressive 75.373%. "Idy was such a good boy for the freestyle," King enthused. "We have a very complex and difficult pattern of two tempis to one's and one tempis to two's, and he was super honest and through for all of those. We got a 9 on degree of difficulty and calculated risk! It was a great warm-up for our upcoming trip to Germany! I hope to make a couple of small changes to the choreography with Klaus's help, but I was pretty darn happy with a 75%!" King and Idocus, along with three of her other FEI horses, will depart for Germany at the end of October to train with U.S. Dressage Chef d'Equipe Klaus Balkenhol for two months and compete in European shows.

Evening performances at the 2007 WIHS showcased crowd-pleasers ranging from Grand Prix dressage to Barrel Racing, Terrier Races, a live performance by Country/Western superstar Jewel, and the Open Jumper Puissance (High Jump), making both the indoor warm-up area and the electrified atmosphere of the arena a challenging and exciting experience for the dressage competitors - an atmosphere King enjoyed for the second consecutive year. King and Idocus were invited to compete last year as well and finished as Reserve Champions.

"The atmosphere at Washington is awesome for me," King said. "I think it is a very special thing that the WIHS does to have this invitational with big prize money because it is great experience and opportunity for the dressage riders as well as a fantastic way to promote the sport. The stadium is filled with horse enthusiasts who may never have been exposed to dressage before, so to give us a chance to give them a taste of it is fantastic. And I'm always very surprised at how into the freestyles people get. They seem to enjoy it a great deal."

PHOTO CAPTION: Courtney King and Idocus, winners of the $25,000 WIHS Dressage Invitational, take a victory lap at the Verizon Center. PHOTO CREDIT: Alex Thomas. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release.


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