Marydell Farm's stallion Don Principe will now be trained and ridden by Olympian Courtney King-Dye. The 10 year old Hanoverian by Donnerhall out of a Prince Thatch xx dam,SPS Papagena, has been trained and ridden by Jim Koford of Raleigh, North Carolina since his arrival in the USA at age 6. Throughout their partnership, Don Principe and Jim gathered many honors along the way, including several Championships both regional and BLM, including a triple at the 2008 BLM Championships.
Due to his obligations to his other clients, Jim had sadly reached the conclusion that another rider would need to give Don Principe the chance to further his Grand Prix career. "It was Jim who suggested we find a rider for Don Principe who could focus on his Grand Prix career for 2010" said owner Maryanne Haymon. "I am very greatful to Jim for bringing him to this point, and for understanding the opportunities we have ahead of us." Koford is currently in Germany with Shirley McQuillan's Rhet, and has a blog of his adventures. koforddressage.com/blog
Taking into consideration the abilities and qualities that his rider would need, Courtney King-Dye was at the top of the list. “Prince” and Jim participated in a clinic with Courtney in 2008 and the exercises were well received by horse and rider. Courtney herself has cliniced with several of the same trainers that Jim has so the methods and techniques were similar.
Courtney is an elegant and tactful rider with an impeccable education in basics and the upper levels of dressage. Her intuitive riding was evident during her first ride on Don Principe at her barn in New York. Don Principe has been referred to by judges as powerful and elegant, allowing us to feel that this will be a harmonious and exciting partnership of horse and rider.
Courtney’s experience with stallions that compete at the highest level of dressage includes Idocus who represented the USA at the World Cup in both 2007 and 2008, as well as qualifying as the reserve horse for the 2008 Hong Kong Olympics. As both Idocus and Don Principe are successful dual career breeding stallions, a rare creature requiring an understanding of the physical demands of both careers, we felt this was an important factor in our decision to send Don Principe to her.