2016 Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Induction of Rocher

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George Williams partnership with Rocher is legendary. Here competing at Dressage at Devon in the Grand Prix. (Terri Miller photo) Note: USDF strongly recommends all riders wear protective headgear when mounted.

In recognition of her competition record, having shown extensively across Europe, in Oldenburg, Munich, Goteborg, Hagen, and Wiesbaden, and for her character and inspirational performances that made her an ambassador for the sport of dressage, Rocher was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame in 2016.  Read more from the press release, issued about the talented mare, from 2016:

George Williams & Rocher, FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI at Dressage at Devon 2005.
First Place with 77.850%
Note: The original audio track has been replaced
Note: USDF strongly recommends all riders wear protective headgear when mounted.

Rocher is a dressage icon in the United States, for those that witnessed her in competition before her retirement in 2009. Owned by Charles and Joann Smith, of Richwood, OH, this German born 25-year-old Westfalian mare (by Rolls Royce and out of Fraenzi) touts a long and successful competition record, including 59 Grand Prix tests on file with USDF. In 2002, Rocher, and rider George Williams, played to the crowds winning the Grand Prix Freestyle at Dressage at Devon as well as the Grand Prix for the Region 2 Championships. In 2003, Rocher added international competition to her repertoire, finishing fifth in the FEI World Cup Freestyle. That same year, Rocher was named the USDF Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Horse of the Year, as well as The Chronicle of the Horse Dressage Horse of the Year.

Rocher was retired at Devon in 2013. (Stacylynnephoto.com)

Rocher competed extensively across Europe, in Oldenburg, Munich, Goteborg, Hagen, and Wiesbaden with George on board and showing off her floppy ears and flashy extended trot. She was poised to be a strong contender for the 2004 Olympic Games, but was temporarily sidelined by tendonitis as the event drew near. In 2005, Rocher returned to competition sweeping all three classes of the USEF Grand Prix Championship, as well as putting in a valiant and crowd pleasing performance for the US Team in Aachen, Germany. Rocher moved on to break records, by being the first horse to win the Grand Prix Freestyle at Dressage at Devon three times. Rocher had a long and impressive showing career, but it is her character and inspirational performances that truly set her apart.

Rocher’s owners, Charles and Joann Smith (second and third from left), accept from USDF president George Williams, Roberta Williams, trainer Kathy Connelly, USDF Historical Recognition Committee chair Bettina Longaker (behind Connelly), and USDF vice president Lisa Gorretta (Jennifer Bryant photo)

Her owner Charles once said, “Rocher took a dream and made it a reality. She took us all over the world and filled us with pride. She has incredible character and inspired her fans wherever she showed.”

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