Visit Sunnyfield Farm, Monday, 825 South Bedford Road, Bedford, New York, May 24 at 4:PM for an afternoon of Dressage entertainment with olympic hopeful Courtney King-Dye.
For the past year, Courtney King has been walking a defined line toward qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong. She and her horses spent 2 months training and competing in Germany to gain the necessary European exposure. They then spent 3 months in Florida to compete in the necessary shows to qualify for the Selection Trials. There Courtney was selected to represent the United States in the 2008 World Cup in Holland aboard Idocus.
She has now qualified 2 horses, Idocus owned by Christine McCarthy and Harmony's Mythilus owned by Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation for the Final Olympic Selection Trials to be held in San Juan Capistrano, CA at the end of June. Twelve horse/rider combinations are invited to compete. The top 3 are then selected as the Olympic Team along with 2 alternates who will travel in July to Germany for quarantine. Then 4 horse/rider combinations will go on to Hong Kong for the month of August.
Although Harmony's Mythilus and most of Courtney's other mounts (with the exception of her own Harmony's Wyoming) are fully sponsored by their owners, Courtney is responsible for all of Idocus's expenses. Traveling with horses is not only incredibly expensive, but when a rider is competing away from home so much, her income is also very limited while her home expenses continue (mortgage, car payments, employee salaries, stalls, etc).
Once the final horses are selected for the Team, the United States Dressage Federation will cover all the costs of the Team horses. However, the long and winding road to get there is entirely the rider's responsibility. The cost for the trip to California will be approximately $25,000 per horse. If Courtney makes the Team, out of 12 months, she will be home less than 4.
It goes without saying that she would not have been able to follow this road she has worked tirelessly to travel for her entire life without incredibly generous support from many, many different individuals.
Courtney tries to give back in the ways she can. Besides donating her time to organizations such as Dressage4Kids and NEDA teaching, judging, and doing exhibitions, she also tries to show her appreciation to all of the individuals who help her along in her quest by sharing her experiences with them directly. Before the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas, Lendon Gray and some of Courtney's other supporters helped her to organize "Courtney's Quest". In this program, supporters can sign up for different amounts for different levels of involvement. For $50 for juniors or $100 for adults to $499, they will receive Courtney's journals of her travels and experiences. Courtney is a wonderful writer and very open in her discussions of what she is experiencing. For $500 to $999 they will also receive 4 dvd's of the training, competing, and commentary throughout the year. For $1000 or more, they will receive the journals, dvd's, and a lesson with Courtney on their own horse.
Courtney is also lucky to be part of a charitable organization called Medal Equestrian Foundation www.medalequestrian.com . Checks written to Medal Equestrian and memoed "Courtney King" will receive 100% tax deduction, and 90% of the amount will go to Courtney's expenses. Checks can also be written directly to Courtney if the tax incentive is not important.
Please join in supporting Courtney on her quest for an Olympic Berth!