Catching Up With Courtney King

Courtney King is a full-time rider with horses in training at two barns - Lendon Gray's Gleneden Dressage in Bedford, New York, and Suzy Partlow's Spruce Hollow in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The 24-year-old is also a senior studying literature at Columbia University in New York City, where she attends school part-time.

For the 2002 USDF Region 8 Championships, August 24-25, Courtney qualified eight horses at every level through Grand Prix, except for Third, reminiscent of her banner year in 2000 when she took home the lion's share of blue ribbons and championships. As luck would have it this year, four of the horses were scratched due to illness or injury, but she still took home the Reserve in Grand Prix on Ravel, fourth in the PSG and PSG Championships on Lambada, Reserve in the PSG East Coast Riders Cup on Benny, and won all three Training Level classes with a five-year-old named Rozier who was competing in his first show. The duo also took the High Score of the Championships with 72% at T-4.

While for some riders those kinds of results would be the achievement of a lifetime, for perfectionist Courtney King, it was the "worst show I've had." With good humor though, she points out that it goes along with that streak of bad luck she had two years ago in Germany when she had four horses in training at Conrad Schumacher's facility and seriously injured her hand almost on the first day of her five-month stay.