March 20, 2008 -- Following the March 1-2 final North American League qualifying competitions in Loxahatchee, Fla., and Burbank, Calif., two horses and riders have been named to represent the United States at the 2008 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, March 27-30.
Courtney King of New Milford, Conn., partnered with Christine McCarthy's veteran Idocus to put in a solid performance at the PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby (CDI-W/Y) to stay on top of the North American League leaderboard with an overall point total of 221.85. King rode the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion to a sixth place finish in the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas, and they were Grand Prix Reserve National Champions at the 2007 Collecting Gaits Farm/U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Festival of Champions in Gladstone, N.J.
In a tight point race for the second World Cup invitation and a trip to The Netherlands on the line, it took an outstanding ride to earn the ticket. Jane Hannigan of Harvard, Mass., proved she was up to the challenge, riding her own Maksymilian, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to a tremendous freestyle performance in Loxahatchee. Earning a score of 72.85 percent edged Hannigan and Maksymilian into second place in League standings with an overall point total of 212.26 and a chance to represent the United States for the first time in international competition.