It's in the Genes: Kyle King and Capone I

Kyle King and Capone I

Photo: Robin Duncan Photography

By Sherri Hewko

It’s in the genes for Kyle King and Capone I.

With parents and a sister who are also professional riders, King fell in love with horses at an early age and followed his passion throughout the years to become one of the top show jumping riders in the U.S. 

His on-and-off partner for almost a decade, the 16-year-old Holsteiner stallion, Capone I, also has success written in his genes, with internationally renowned jumper sires like Contender, Ramiro Z, and Ladykiller studding his pedigree.

With over ten Grand Prix wins under their belt, including the prestigious CN Performance Grand Prix at Calgary, Alberta’s Spruce Meadows in June 2011, King and Capone I are a partnership to watch. Most recently, the pair have been celebrating victories in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California, and the $100,000 CSI** Oil Patch Grand Prix at the Rocky Mountain Classic II Tournament in Calgary, Alberta, and just finished competing in the Spruce Meadows Summer Series and Masters Tournament.

King says in hindsight maybe he could have spent more time preparing Capone I for the Masters, but he enjoyed the experience of riding Capone I as much as he always has.

“He has a strong work ethic, is easy going, kind, smart, and has a never-give-up attitude,” says King, caressing the black stallion’s muzzle.

King and CaponePhoto: Sherri Hewko

King and Capone I, shown here with Capone's groom, Bryn, are an incredible team, not only because of their talent, but because of the mutual respect and affection they have for one another.

“[Capone I] loves Kyle, tries hard for him, and enjoys competing with him,” says the stallion’s owner, Corinne Super. “They’re a good match.”

In between training and competitions, Capone I still finds time to perform his duty as a breeding stallion.

“He stamps his offspring with his athleticism, keenness, wisdom, passion for jumping, and natural talent for dressage,” says Super.

For all his talent in the international show jumping ring and his success as a sire, Capone I’s groom, Bryn, describes him as “playful and friendly. He wears his expression on his face.” She also shares that he loves Sour Cherry Blasters and running around his turnout. 

At home, in Florida, Capone lives the good life, with nearly full-time turnout in a two-acre paddock, receiving regular massages, magnetic blanket therapy, icing, stretches, and, of course, going for rides with King.

“The horses are the stars of the barn,” says King, who lives in a bus that remains parked in close proximity to the horses. “They get fed before we eat, they get treats, and they even have their own masseuse.”

When it comes to work, “The horses are ridden twice a day,” King continues, “and we do lots of hill work and trot pole work.”

The horses aren’t the only ones in a training program. In between riding and training, King works out at the gym to stay in shape, and says that sometimes he’ll aim to gain or lose up to 20 pounds, depending on how high he is jumping, to make it easier for the horses to carry him.

For King, it’s all about the well-being of the animals, and his love and respect for the individuality of each of his horses shines through in everything he does.

“I love finding horses that are unique, special, and talented with idiosyncrasies,” King says.

A gifted clinician, King is equally good at bringing out the best in riders. His best advice: “Put your pride aside and never be afraid to try…and you can pull off miracles.”

Main Article Photo: Robin Duncan Photography - Kyle King and Capone I at the Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament in September 2012.

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