Caroline Roffman - Young Rider in the Spotlight

with Stacy Gormley


DressageDaily got a chance to sit down with top Young Rider contender, Caroline Roffman on Saturday during the Wellington Dressage show on a rain break in normally sunny south Florida. Roffman who trains with Silke Rembacz, made her mark as a Junior Young Rider, winning many of the classes she entered in 2005.

At the Gold Coast Opener, the first of a qualifying series for the 2006 NAYRC, Roffman began her first year in the Young Rider ranks placing first and second with Bulgari 5 (Hanoverian by Baryshnikov) (69.2) and Rigaudon (Hanoverian by Ramiro's Bube) (65.867),in the Young Rider Team Test.

Local aspiring young riders Haley and Carri Sukienik, Sharon Gaskill and Samantha Lausch got the opportunity to join in and ask some relevant questions. For an hour, Caroline patiently answered all of their well thought-out questions and offered advice and encouragement for their budding riding careers.

 

 

 


Haley Q:”What is your past in riding?”

 


Caroline A: “I started riding when I was only nine months old. My mother had ridden hunters for years and got me aboard a horse before I could walk! For me, it was love at first sight and I have been riding ever since. My mom started me off with the most humble of mounts, a $500 broken down school pony, which we brought back to life together (a mother-daughter project) to share many great achievements and memories with.

After outgrowing that pony, I acquired a huge FEI dressage horse that I was completely over mounted by. It was scary for a few months, but I never gave up and within a year, made a huge jump from training level to fourth level in my effort to ride my tower of power. There were some tough moments along the way, but eventually the hard work paid off! Because of this, at a very young age, I was riding fourth level and through my trainer at the time, had already acquired huge amounts of knowledge and riding skill that would help me tremendously down the road.”

Haley Q: “What is your typical schedule like?”

Caroline A: “Well, I have really devoted most aspects of my life to riding. I attend a special school that allows me to balance my own schedule and curriculum around horse shows and other equine commitments. I attend extra classes on Mondays and take Fridays off for horse shows. I also ride an average of four horses per day and rides seven days per week. I ride everything from my two Young Riders mounts to my PMU babies that my mother and I have adopted and raised to be riding horses. We are very involved in the PMU program, Pure Thoughts, Inc, which takes in and tries to find homes for horses that have been abandoned or are facing slaughter. My mother and I have taken in numerous horses over the years including day old foals. Duties included teaching the foals to drink and taking shifts every 2-3 hours to keep them alive. It’s a lot of work and commitment to race an orphaned foal, but it is so worth it to see them grow up to be happy, healthy riding horses.” To learn more about this great opportunity, simply go to www.floridafoalrescue.com .

 

 


Sharon Q: “What are your future plans?”

 

Caroline A: “I would like to become a professional someday. I am deciding right now which four year university I will be applying to where I will study business. I believe this will give me the tools necessary to run my future riding business in an organized, successful fashion. I really think that a college education is very important for professional reasons as well as to always have something to fall back on.”

Samantha Q: “How do you keep yourself motivated day after day with such a grueling and demanding schedule?”

Caroline A: “I have spent some time setting up a plan of fun activities to alleviate the stresses of competition for my horses and myself. I want to be able to do this professionally and want to be able to compete with the world’s best riders someday, but I know the importance of having fun too! I take my horses out on trails, jump with some of them and go for gallops to let them be horses. I think it’s important for both the horse and the rider to have some fun time.”

One the topic of trying out for the 2006 NAYRC, there is no denying that Caroline has had an incredible season so far aboard both of her young rider mounts. She has consistently won all of her classes so far, averaging a 69% on her first year out!

 

 


 



Stacy Q: “How has the qualifying been going so far for the NAYRC and how are the tests to ride?”

Caroline A: “At first, it was a little intimidating mentally to take the step up from juniors, but I am having a fun time. It is cool to wear my shadbelly and compete in CDI’s! Riding the tests has been a great experience so far and I am very proud of my two horses. They could not be more opposite of each other, though. The grey horse is such a steady eddy for me, and the chestnut horse is very flashy, exuberant and at times, a little temperamental! It has been a blessing to be able to learn and ride the PSG on such extreme opposites, because it has really made me develop another notch in my riding. The grey horse won her first time out in the PSG, which was a personal accomplishment for me, because he has been my project for a while now and it is nice to see all of that hard work paying off!”

Stacy Q: “What are your goals and plans for the NAYRC this year?”

Caroline A: “They are both nice Young Rider candidates and I have not decided as of yet which one I would choose to compete at the championship. I guess I would get together with my trainer at that point and decide which mount will be most competitive for me.”

One thing is for sure, if Caroline continues to do this well on either of these two prospects, we can expect to see Caroline in Virginia this year, and we can again expect great things from her as always!

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