Richwood, Ohio (April 6, 2009) – Gypsy Woods Farm owners Charles (Chuck) and Joann Smith announce that the beloved, crowd-pleasing Westfalen mare, Rocher (Rolls Royce), will retire from International competition. “Rocher took a dream and made it a reality,” states Chuck “she took us all over the world and filled us with pride. She has incredible character and inspired her fans wherever she showed.” Rocher came to the United States in 2000 to be ridden by George Williams for the Smith family and Gypsy Woods Farm. Her career was highlighted with a 5th place finish in the 2003 World Cup Freestyle championships in Goteborg, Sweden. In the same year she was named U.S. Dressage Federation Grand Prix Horse and Grand Prix Freestyle Horse of the Year as well as Chronicle of the Horse Dressage Horse of the Year.
Perhaps Rocher will best be known for her hair-raising extended trot and flopping ears that entertained spectators worldwide. Crowds at Dressage at Devon will never forget her performances there. She won the prestigious show three times with record breaking scores in an atmosphere fit for a rock star.
Gypsy Woods Farm also announces that with the retirement of Rocher the farm will no longer be engaging in international dressage pursuits. With this change, the farm has also released George Williams to continue his successful career elsewhere.
Joann emotionally stated “When George came to Gypsy Woods Farm we hung a banner in the arena of one of his favorite quotes ‘Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor’ George and Rocher have been beautiful dance partners.”
Chuck Smith says the decision was difficult to make, “George has dedicated his life to dressage, he has an amazing work ethic I’m sure he will continue his success in the next phase of his journey.”
Gypsy Woods Farm will continue boarding horses, hosting clinics, and providing talented young horses to an adult amateur audience.