World Cup Mount Rocher & Danish Circus Rider Key to Developing American Dressage to be Inducted Into Hall of Fame
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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Oct. 24, 2016–The internationally popular floppy-eared mare Rocher and Lilian Wittmack Roye, a Danish circus rider who played a key role in developing American dressage, will be inducted into the Roemer Foundation/U.S. Dressage Foundation Hall of Fame this year.
Rocher, a 1991 German-bred Westfalen mare (Rolls Royce x Frühlingsstern) was competed by George Williams for owners Charles and Joann Smith of Richwood, Ohio.
The highlight of her career was a fifth place finish in the 2003 World Cup Freestyle championships in Goteborg, Sweden. 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. Health issues kept her from being a contender for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 but returned to competition the following year to sweep the three U.S. Grand Prix Championship classes.
Lilian Wittmack Roye came to the United States from Denmark at the close of World War II as a performer in show business. She worked with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performing in the center ring across the United States.
Lilian settled in York, Pennsylvania and in 1955 organized the first American Horse Shows Association (predecessor of the U.S. Equestrian Federation) recognized dressage show held in the U.S.
She hand-wrote all the tests, which she translated from Danish, and judged the show herself.
In 1976, she staged the first FEI-sanctioned dressage competition in the U.S., held at the York Fairgrounds.