Heartbreak and Setbacks Open Doors to Opportunity

Caroline Roffman; Dressage Trainer, Competitor

Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5
Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5

Although Caroline has experienced success as a rider, she and her horses have experienced heartbreaks and disappointments, including injury, sickness and other smaller setbacks. “Bully (“Bulgari 5”) was the best horse I ever had. We trained for the Young Rider and Junior Horse division (in 2006) and ended up finishing the division with an average in the 70%’s,” she said. A severe tendon injury during the awards ceremony, the last day of competition at the 2006 NAYRC nearly ended his career.

“I thought he was finished. I was devastated and thought he would never be sound again. I retired him and he spent two years out in the pasture,” she recalled. Silke Rembacz, the trainer credited with starting Caroline’s FEI Career and Andrea, Caroline’s mother, encouraged Caroline to bring Bully back into training. “As time past Bully looked like he was feeling better. They encouraged me to see if Bully could be brought back slowly. We very slowly and carefully reconditioned Bully back into top form.” Their persistence was rewarded with qualification for the 2010 USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey.

Caroline Roffman and Accent Agiu FRHCedit: Susan J. Stickle
Caroline Roffman and Accent Agiu FRHCedit: Susan J. Stickle

Throughout her riding career, Caroline has ridden a significant number of young horses, challenging horses and young challenging horses. Accent Agiu FRH by Amerigo Vespucci was one of those challenging horses. “Aki, as we called him, was living on the edge of brilliance and absolute insanity,” Caroline laughed. Aki was paired with Caroline in 2009 during the time of Bulgari 5’s recovery. “The previous owner, Carrie Schopf approached Mary Phelps at a show and asked if she knew of a rider who needed a horse. “Aki” needed a special rider because he was hot and difficult, and Schopf who competes mostly in Germany knew the pressure of the indoor venues whould be difficult for him. My name popped into Mary’s head,” she recalled. Within three or four months of riding Aki, the duo qualified for Gladstone and finished 3rd overall.

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