Last year, Verena Stock and Roccoca WF were reserve champions in the Four-Year-Old competition at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships. And once again, Roccoca WF, the fabulous mare that has only one eye, showed she’s still a star by earning the reserve championship title in the Five-Year-Old competition.

“It’s fabulous that she was reserve last year as a four-year-old and comes back as a five-year-old,” Stock said. “It’s reserve again, but I think that’s pretty good. I’m very happy.” Stock could say enough about the wonderful Roccoca WF, owned and bred by Vanessa Carlson, of Claremore, Oklahoma. Stock said it’s not yet known if the Hanoverian mare will compete next year in the Six-Year-Old competition. “We haven’t really decided because the six-year-old test is rather hard for horses. We’ll see how she does through the winter. For now, we’ll keep showing her and then probably she’ll be a broodmare later on in her career.”

Carlson was very pleased with her mare’s showing and with the Young Horse competition in particular. “It’s a great program for breeders. We can’t really keep our horses to Grand Prix or FEI if we want to be in the breeding business. So this is a way for the breeders to showcase their horses when they’re four and five and six.”

The mare was born with only one eye, but it has no impact because of her tremendous trust in her ride. She clearly impressed the judges who gave her an overall score of 7.880. “She’s a very elastic horse, very springy,” Gurney said. “Her gaits are good in volume and ground cover. We particularly liked the trot work. It was also very elastic and we give it an 8.5. The walk was also quite rhythmical with quite a nice overstep and a clear transition back to the medium. We give it an 8.1.” With a bit of improvement in the canter, Gurney said the mare would have a super future.

Finishing third in the 5-year-old Championship was Stephanie Chandler Klingele riding her own Laccord, a Westphalen gelding by Laurentianer out of Desiree by D'Accord, and bred in Germany by Friedrich-Wilhem Schluter.