Courtney King-Dye - Passing The Torch Onto Our Youth

Courtney King-Dye on Western Rose, the Paralympic entry for Donna Ponessa owned by Wes Dunham owned by Wes
Courtney King-Dye on Western Rose, the Paralympic entry for Donna Ponessa owned by Wes Dunham owned by Wes

Courtney King-Dye received the prestigious “Against All Odds Award” and the FEI Annual Assembly held in Istanbul, Turkey November 8, 2012, and influenced the highest governing body in equestrian sport to launch a global safety campaign.  Back in Wellington, Florida with her training program in full gear with her longtime assistant Koryn Staehling, a fabulous horse for her personal quest as a US Para rider, Dye continues her contribution as mentor and trainer. At the Emerging Dressage Athlete Program (EDAP) Robert Dover Horsemanship week, Courtney King-Dye shared her continuous passion for the sport of dressage. As one of the Olympic riders who taught the 12 Emerging Athlete kids, she imparted clear, concise, and exacting instruction to each of them.  She shared with us some of her thoughts, plans, and how she is growing her business. “I am very much enjoying sharing the knowledge that the miraculous sparing of my cognition has allowed me to retain. I am now teaching many more clinics and trailer-in lessons (and am available to do more), writing articles and passing the torch onto our youth. Not only is it extremely gratifying to be part of the Emerging Dressage Athlete Program so that kids without funds get a chance to learn and be seen, I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing my assistant, Koryn Staehling who's been with me 3 years, excel. It's earlier than I'd intended, but I very much hope to do a similar thing that Lendon did with me: have her continue where I left off.

Lendon Gray teaches Hannah Corjulo on Nancy Rosen's Essex during the Emerging Dressage Athlete's program. (Photo: Betsy LaBelle)
Lendon Gray teaches Hannah Corjulo on Nancy Rosen's Essex during the Emerging Dressage Athlete's program. (Photo: Betsy LaBelle)

She's teaching many outside lessons and establishing herself as a trainer as I did when I was her age.”

Courtney continued, “It's fantastic to be in sunny Florida and getting into a rhythm. I hadn't been in therapy for nearly 2 months because I had 2 major falls, a sprained ankle, a seizure and a week-long stint in Istanbul to get my treasured FEI Against All Odds award. So now I'm relishing being in therapy, taking my walks and trike rides and basking in the glorious Florida winter. I have a fantastic new horse to ride, Western Rose owned by Wes Dunham. Donna Ponessa rode her in the London Paralympics at grade 1a so I couldn't be luckier. I could not lease her without the amazing help of the countless generous people who donated to my para fund and I can't thank them enough.”

We all look forward to seeing what Courtney has in her future. She will always be our American Super Star, a legend, an inspiration. Through it all, one can see that she knows the biomechanics of the horse perfectly. Her lessons were a treat to watch.

Courntney King Dye working with Rosie Jilian Simoes at the EDAP (Photo: Betsy LaBelle)
Courntney King Dye working with Rosie Jilian Simoes at the EDAP (Photo: Betsy LaBelle)

The Lendon Gray EDAP Winter Intensive Training Program will be featured throughout the 2013 winter season in Wellington, Florida. Lots of activities are planned for the three months (12 weeks). The program will cover riding instruction, rider fitness, cross training, nutrition, sports psychology, media training, horse care, riding theory as well as riding instruction from other top international riders.

Lendon selected twelve young riders from many applicants for this amazing opportunity. They have been selected not only for their talent as Dressage riders, but for their desire to learn, determination, and citizenship.

L-R Ayden Uhlir, Genay Vaughn, Courtney King-Dye, Rosie Julian Simoes, Emily Smith Photo: Betsy LaBelle
L-R Ayden Uhlir, Genay Vaughn, Courtney King-Dye, Rosie Julian Simoes, Emily Smith Photo: Betsy LaBelle

A few key people are making this program possible for the 12 lucky young riders. Renee Isler, a long time supporter of young riders spearheaded the fundraising portion of the program, Hampton Green Farm owner Kimberley Boyer has generously provided her farm, and the Dressage Foundation are providing scholarships to the participants.

Here at DressageDaily, we will continue to give you a glimpse on each of the riders who will be in Florida for the full winter season.




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