by Fran Jurga | 4 March 2010 | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
US Dressage Olympian Courtney King-Dye of New Milford, Connecticut has been seriously injured in a fall from a horse while schooling in southern Florida. Courtney was rushed to the hospital yesterday and the horse world is united in wishing her a speedy recovery and return to the sport.
According to most news outlets and reports, King-Dye fractured her skull in the fall but no official statement has been released. The Wellington-based website Dressage-News.com reports that she is improving somewhat today and that a Courtney King-Dye Medical Assistance Fund has been formed by The Palm Beach Dressage Derby to assist her in her medical expenses.
Courtney, who is 33 years old, was showing several horses at different levels this year in Florida for different owners. She had started showing the PRE (Pure Spanish Horse) stallion Grandioso III at Intermediare and planned to take him to to Grand Prix for Hampton Green Farm. It is not known for certain what horse she was riding when she fell.
On February 10, an announcement was made by The Dressage Foundation that Courtney was the 2010 winner of the "Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize" in the amount of $25,000. The purpose of the Prize, according to the Foundation, is to "provide financial assistance for coaching and training to a talented, committed, qualified rider whose plan is to reach and excel at the elite, international standards of high performance Dressage". Courtney had said when accepting the prize that she planned to use the funds to take two horses, Hampton Green Farm's Grandioso III and Maryanna Haymon's Don Principe, to Europe for training.
Friends and fans are leaving messages for Courtney on the wall of her Facebook page.
More information about Courtney and her horses and career are available on her website, www.courtneykingdressage.com.
In response to yesterday's accident, Grand Prix rider Heather Blitz launched a campaign to urge dressage riders to wear helmets while riding. According to Heather, Courtney's injury further emphasizes the need for dressage riders to acknowledge the inherent risks of horse riding, and that the sport of dressage is no different.
"Courtney's accident reminds us all how vulnerable we are around horses," said Heather in a press release issued today. "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Courtney and her family as she faces this medical challenge and we wish her a full and speedy recovery.
The whole horse world will echo those last words: we're thinking of you, Courtney!
Photo of Courtney King-Dye mirrored from her Facebook page.