Wayne, IL – On the same weekend that Hurricane Irene battered its way up the East Coast, dressage rider Caroline Roffman took the 2011 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center by storm. Roffman, of Wellington, Florida, rode away with three Reserve Championships aboard San City, Bon Chance, and Pie, once again solidifying her place in the dressage world as a successful trainer and competitor. “San City was Reserve Champion in the Five-Year-Old division, Bon Chance tied for the Championship in the Six-Year-Olds, although because it is an American show the tie breaker goes to the American horse, and Pie finished as Reserve Champion in the Developing Horse Championships,” Roffman said. “What a weekend!”
Roffman was especially pleased with San City, a Hanoverian eventing stallion owned by Linda Crabtree, who made history in the Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test when he earned an 89% and a comment of “Wow” from judge Linda Zang.
“On the first day San City was amazing and he went above and beyond what he had ever done before,” Roffman said. “He really couldn’t have done any better. His 89% score was the highest ever given in the U.S. He was a little tired the second day, but I am still so proud of him.”
Crabtree sent San City to Roffman in December so the talented dressage rider could begin training the stallion for the championships. “I brought him from the Four-Year-Old level to the Five-Year-Old level. He is a wonderful horse to work with and he has a bright future in both the dressage and eventing world,” she said, adding that he would be competing in the American Eventing Championships in September with Crabtree’s daughter, Katie Wooten-Bryant, who recently took time off after giving birth to her first child. “San City has already gone back and I will certainly miss him. He finished 14th last year in the Four-Year-Old division, so the progression he made this year was remarkable. I look forward to getting him back at the end of this year to start training him for the Six-Year-Old division next year.”
Roffman’s ability to train a horse from the ground up was evident with her much beloved Bon Chance, a Hanoverian gelding she piloted to the Five-Year-Old Championship in 2010. Roffman and Bon Chance were back in the winner’s circle in the Six-Year-Olds, tying for first place. “Bon Chance was also amazing the first day and he really put his best foot forward. He showed everyone he has the talent and the ability to be a Grand Prix horse,” Roffman said. “He is a dream and I am very lucky to own him. The rules at the championships state that in the result of a tie for National or Reserve Champion, the U.S. horse will win, so Emily Wagner and her American Warmblood stallion Wakeup won. Emily is a friend of mine and I was thrilled for her. I told her she deserved it and it was a great thing for the U.S.”
Roffman, who is currently accepting horses into training for competition or sale, said she hopes to someday compete an American-bred horse at the championships. Roffman has teamed up with dressage rider Endel Ots to start a training and sales business. Roffman also showed off her training ability at the championships with her horse Pie, a Hanoverian by Worldly, who was Reserve Champion in the USEF Developing Horse Championship. “It is very exciting to think that I have had Pie since he was four and have done all his training myself. It was also wonderful competing against Lisa Wilcox, I have looked up to her for so long. Pie showed off his quality and his potential. I am thrilled with how all three of my horses did, it was a fantastic experience.”
Roffman, who trains with Danish Olympian Lars Petersen, is headed back to Florida for one week before traveling to Gladstone with Beemer, a sale horse she will compete in the USEF Brentina Cup. “I am looking forward to Gladstone as well as my new business with Endel. I look forward to working with breeders and clients,” Roffman said.
For more information on Roffman, visit her website at www.carolineroffman.com.