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King and Idocus debut new freestyle with GP win

Courtney King and Idocus win USEF HP Grand Prix Freestyle. Photo: © Susan J. Stickle

The conclusion of Cosequin Wellington Dressage at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival was marked with a dazzling array of musical freestyles performed by some of the nation’s top competitors.

In the USEF High Performance Grand Prix Freestyle, Courtney King and Idocus reigned with new music and a new test designed by Terry Gallo of Klassic Kur, earning a 76.3 percent for the win. King noted that the music is a set of Broadway show tunes with a mix classic swing sounds.

“I was very happy with it. I think the music is great for Idocus,” King commented. “I had a bobble in one set of the twos [two-tempis] and a bobble in the ones [one tempis], which isn’t normal for him, so I’d like to clean that up. Other than that, I thought the transitions were really on the money. I felt very confident despite having ridden it only once before.”

The test had a high level of difficulty, but the veteran pair had no problem mastering the movements.

“I’m about 50 percent more confident just in one day, and he was right there for me the whole time. I was really, really happy. It’s been so much fun to make (the freestyle) with Idocus because he’s such a confirmed grand prix horse and we have great communication together, on top of him just being a very light and balanced horse. I really felt like we could play,” she explained.

Suzanne Dansby-Phelps and her own Cooper 19 placed second in the high performance freestyle with a71.167 percent. Taking third was George Williams and Marnix with a score of 70.750.

In the USEF High Performance Intermediaire Freestyle, Christopher Hickey and Regent continued their winning ways for the weekend, earning a 76.417, in addition to winning Thursday’s Prix St. George high performance class. Taking second in the Intermediaire freestyle were King and Rendezvous 3, who also performed well throughout the week. Tara Stegen and Kamir rounded out the top three with a 69.583 percent.

On Saturday afternoon, the infamous $15,000 Cosequin Dressage Jumper Spectacular was won by a new set of riders. For the past eight years, Bent Jensen and Anne Kursinski have held on to the victory, but this year, they relinquished the honors to Kimberly Barone on Ramiros and Heidi Degele on Escada.

The Spectacular is a class where two riders, one dressage and one show jumper, change disciplines for the day and compete as a team. Yesterday, of the four pairs of riders, Barone and Degele narrowly beat, by less than a fault, Jensen and Kursinski for the win.

Barone earned a 64.419 percent for her dressage test, while Degele had 16 jumping faults for a total score of 53.688, and Kursinski had a dressage score of 64.031 percent and Jensen a jumping score of 17 faults for a jumping score of 53.935.


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