Courtney King Dye announced she plans to compete at the Houston Dressage Society Spring Classic CPEDI*** on April 25-29 in Katy, Texas.
Kathleen Jones is loaning Dye a horse for the occasion, a 16.2-hand Hanoverian named Rondo del Rey (Regazzoni—Daisy). Rondo will also compete with Jennifer Baker in the competition.
“It feels incredibly good to have a goal again, to show again,” Dye said. “It might be a disaster, but I’ll be safe and enjoy every minute. The people around Houston have been unbelievably helpful and wonderful, so I feel like it will be like getting under a warm blanket on a cold night.”
Dye said Marlene Whitaker offered to choreograph the freestyle routine as a present to welcome her back to the show ring.
Even though she has ridden infrequently in the past four months, her goal is to qualify for the 2012 London Paralympics. The CPEDI is a qualifying event for the selection trials in June.
“I know it’s a bit crazy. It’s definitely a long shot, but it’s a goal,” Dye said. “I certainly won’t be disappointed if I don’t make the trials. It feels so good to try.”
Dye rode on the U.S. Olympic dressage team in 2008, but a schooling accident in 2010 left her with a fractured skull and significant brain damage. Since then she has participated in hippotherapy to help her regain the use of her body. She got her para-dressage certification at the NEDA Fall Festival in September of 2011, but this will be her first time competing in a para competition.