Richwood, Ohio, April 7, 2009 -- Gypsy Woods Farm owners Charles "Chuck" and Joann Smith have announced that their crowd-pleasing Westphalian black mare Rocher (by Rolls Royce out of Fraenzi) has retired from international dressage competition at age 18.
"Rocher took a dream and made it a reality," said 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 from Germany 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 Göteborg, Sweden. In the same year she was named U.S. Dressage Federation Grand Prix Horse and Grand Prix Freestyle Horse of the Year.
Perhaps Rocher will best be known for her extended trot and flopping ears that entertained spectators worldwide. Crowds at Dressage at Devon will never forget her performances there. She won the musical freestyle title there three times with record-breaking scores.
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.
Gypsy Woods Farm will continue boarding horses, hosting clinics and providing talented young horses to an adult amateur audience.