There is no athlete in the history of equestrian sport who has influenced our world the way Dressage Olympian Courtney King Dye has. In 2010 just before competing in World Equestrian Games qualifier, a simple trip and fall on a horse she was riding, was nearly fatal, and resulted in a brain injury which would not only change her life, but the lives of everyone involved in equestrian sport on all levels, for the better. Courtney survived an accident, which only gave her a 7% chance of survival in the early days of her recovery, to not only return to her career as a trainer and now a Para competitor, but to change the longtime top hatted traditions of dressage, bringing the importance of Helmet safety to the forefront. National Federations changed their rules, show management got on board, lives were saved including her fellow Olympians Debbie McDonald and Guenter Seidel who each has serious riding injuries which could have been fatal had they not been influenced by Courtney and were wearing a helmet. It is not just Courtney’s contribution to changing the Dressage world of safety which makes her deserving, but also for her dedication to the Emerging Dressage Athlete’s program spearheaded by her longtime mentor Lendon Gray, and owner of her 2010 WEG hopeful Grandioso, Kim Vankampen Boyer. "Courtney is an irresistible force. The United States was proud to have her represent us in the Olympics in the past, and we will be again--Para today and who knows in the future...what is certain is her champion's heart." Kim Vankampen Boyer
The FEI Awards 2012 invites the international equestrian community to contribute to this annual celebration of outstanding talent. For the fourth consecutive year, five categories are honored, and the presentation will be made at the FEI Annual General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, in November.
Read more for more here for details.
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Isabelle Werth was the first Multiple Dressage Gold Medalist to wear her Golden helmet in the international arena. As a mother, and influenced by Courtney’s campaign, Werth has added her influence to the international arena, and more an more Europeans have joined the almost unanimous Canadian and American FEI competitors.
"As a result of Courtney's accident, not only was a global movement in helmet safety started but the Riders4Helmets campaign was founded to ensure that Courtney's accident could never be labelled a tragedy." said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets
Recently at a Dressage show, Judge Jeannie McDonald commented that helmets have become so much the norm to her when judging FEI classes that an occasional top hat looks out of place.
About the FEI Awards
FEI PRESS RELEASE
Lausanne (SUI), 11 May 2012
NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR FEI AWARDS 2012
The FEI today launches the FEI Awards 2012 and invites the international equestrian community to contribute to this annual celebration of outstanding talent.
For the fourth consecutive year, the search is on for five individuals who have demonstrated remarkable ability and commitment in the following categories:
- Reem Acra Best Athlete, for the athlete (equine or human) or combination that, over the past year, has demonstrated exceptional skill in the arena in any FEI discipline
- HSBC Rising Star, for a rider aged 14-21 with significant talent and commitment
- Development, for a development project, individual or organisation demonstrating skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport
- Against All Odds, for a disabled rider or an individual who has overcome extreme personal difficulties to achieve proficiency in equestrian sport
Vote For Courtney King Dye for the FEI “Against All Odds Award” 2012
- Best Groom, for that important person who works behind the scenes with loyalty, dedication and total respect for the welfare of the horse.
FEI President HRH Princess Haya commented: “The FEI Awards 2012 will follow London 2012, when the skills of many of our best athletes will be showcased to the world. The FEI Awards gives the global equestrian community the opportunity to acknowledge those individuals who embody the values and characteristics of our sport today and reflect its expansion and diversity. I urge you to visit www.feiawards.org and nominate the individuals you think are worthy of an FEI Award.”
The FEI will inform the winners in September and invite them to the awards ceremony, which will take place in Istanbul (TUR) on 8 November.
Nominations can be made via the dedicated website www.feiawards.org.