Of all the living beings thrilled and excited about her return to competition, Rocher was the one who appeared to be most delighted to be back in the limelight. With her radar ears at attention in her stall, during horse inspection and in the warm up there was no doubt, one of America’s top horses, sidelined in 2004 with tendonitis, was thrilled to be back in action, handily winning both her Grand Prix (70.5%) and Grand Prix Special (70.960) at Paxton Farms CDI*** Dressage Show, in Batavia, Ohio, May 14-15, 2005.
George Williams piloted Rocher, the beautiful black 12-year-old Westphalian mare by Rolls Royce out of Fraenzi by Fruhlingstern, to victory, choosing Paxton Farm as the perfect venue for her comeback. “I didn’t necessarily plan her first time out at a CDI,” said Williams, “but Paxton Farms has such a great atmosphere and perfect footing no matter what the weather conditions, and I knew she would be safe here.” Williams, who rides for Rocher’s owners, Chuck and Joanne Smith of Gypsy Woods Farm, credits the Smiths for their support in doing whatever it took to insure Rocher had the best of care during her recovery, as well as the veterinarian team of Dr. Rick Mitchell, Dr. Carolyn Weinberg, and Dr. Bill Patterson for their dedication and skill in managing her rehabilitation.
Dr. Bill Patterson was on hand during the show to supervise Rocher’s return, as well as getting in a training session himself with the Virtual Polo Mobile hitting cage set up in Paxton’s parking lot near the stables. Patterson, who plays polo in his spare time in West Palm Beach during the winter, picked up some training tips from Kit Collins. He then got Williams in the saddle of the mechanical horse, where he got his first lesson in the art of swinging the polo mallet.
The Paxton Farm CDI*** also featured the Spring Classic I and II show with a full schedule of open classes over three days, featuring the USEF/Markel Young Horse Central Selection Trials. Stay tuned to DressageDaily this week as we feature more “On the Scene” highlights from the weekend.
Horsesdaily 'On the Scene' at Paxton Farm CDI - News, Results and photos.