This past year, Rocher made a comeback and competed at the New England Dressage Association’s Fall Festival in September 2007. They took third in both the CDI Grand Prix and in the CDI Grand Prix Freestyle with scores of 67.750 and 69.20 respectively, showing that Rocher is definitely back on track. Despite the fact that Rocher has been given the “all clear” by her veterinarians, George admits to riding rather cautiously during the mare’s first outing in more than a year, especially since rains during the show made for some slick footing.
More recently, George has earned success in the Grand Prix ring with Marnix and his up-and-coming mount, Donnerbube III by Donnerhall. George took over the training of the 17.3-hand Donnerbube in the fall of 2006. The pair started competing at Prix St. Georges in the spring of 2007, earning a 70 percent at their first competition. Originally imported as a stallion, Donnerbube was gelded because he is a high performance horse first and foremost. However, since he has excellent bloodlines and a sterling temperament, his semen was frozen for future use. “He’s super talented and he was bought to be a competitor, not a breeding stallion,” George said. “He’s got a wonderful temperament and shows real talent for passage and piaffe. There aren’t as many options for a competition stallion here in the US if you want or need to compete in Europe, too. The back and forth quarantine restrictions make the cost and the training time lost nearly prohibitive.”
Additionally coming up the ranks with George is a talented five-year-old named Vermeer (by Jazz). “He shows lots of potential and has a good hind leg,” George said. The gelding, imported from Europe, has started his career at First Level with much success and George has high hopes that Vermeer will one day be a top high-performance horse. Bringing along these talented youngsters is very much the focus of George’s life at this moment and there’s no doubt that he is now well-positioned to playing a leading role in international competition in the near future.