Caroline Roffman prepares for Aachen in Saumur, France near the Cadre Noir Riding School of France with the Matute family. Caroline shared, “Europe is amazing. I am having so much fun and a truly educational experience. I have dreamt my whole life of being able to come here and compete, represent my country, and to be living those dreams is well- Awesome.” Training with Juan Matute and his family, Team Matute, she said, “My horses settled immediately into their lovely stable here in Saumur, France at Saumur Dressage. The stable is incredible and the owners, Alan Francois and Jorg Heinrich, are such nice people. I couldn't think of a better place to call "home". The best part of our location is that we are hacking distance to the famous Cadre Noir riding school of France. We have been able to go there several times a week and train in their amazing arenas as well as watch some of their horses and riders at work.”
Caroline has already competed in two competitions in preparation for Aachen with great success, giving her loads of confidence for the huge battle ahead. “Showing in Europe is intimidating where even the young rider horses make your jaw drop. The riding as a whole is very inspiring, with so many talented horse and rider combinations, sitting ringside and watching has been so helpful for me and my riding. Everyone has been friendly and interested to see the "New American rider" especially my first CDI competition in Compiegne, France. I was the only American. If it wasn't for the large British contingency including Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, as well as many other famous Brits I don't think I would have heard a word of English all week.”
In the Small Tour competition, with her own 10-year-old Hanoverian mare Her Highness O (Hohenstein x Weltmeyer), Roffman placed second in the FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Freestyle Intermediate 1 competition at the Compiegne CDI3* with scores of 70.500% and 72.700%. They were beaten in both classes by Denmark’s Kristine Moller & Reve En Noir.
Caroline competed in La Boule, France riding Sagacious receiving a score of 70.8% Concours de Dressage at Les Grands Parcs, a class that substitutes for a warmup, but includes a panel of three judges in the Grand Prix. She also competed Sagacious, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Welt Hit II x Cocktail) in an Intermediate II on Saturday for a score of 71%. Great preparation for Aachen.
She said, “Today I rode my very first Grand Prix like real legit Grand Prix not just under 25! I rode at a lovely national show here in La Boule, France. A special thanks to Saumur Dressage for the transport and company as well as Team Matute for the training and support.” And finally Roffman thanked all, “I am here because of so many people and the help and support they have given me is far to great to mention. Al Guden, owner of Sagacious, my parents, trainers, friends, working students, peers everyone has been so wonderful and without them I would not be able to be here. All in all I am in heaven and between the riding, my continuing education and of course the food- especially the pastries of France - I might never come home!”