Caroline Roffman on Sagacious 1st American Set to Compete at Aachen U25, Small Tour With Her Highness O

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Caroline Roffman and Sagacious at a recent national competition in Wellington, Florida. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Caroline Roffman and Sagacious competiting in Wellington, Florida. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, May 11–Caroline Roffman on Sagacious HF is set to become the first American to compete in the highly competitive Under-25 division at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany next month as well as start in the small tour on Her Highness O in the first European tour for the 24-year-old rider.

Caroline and Sagacious is the top ranked combination in the Brentina Cup Under-25 division in the United States and Her Highness is among the highest on the Tim Dutta National Intermediate I Championship rankings with an average of 71.414 per cent, just 0.105 per cent off the lead.

“This is so unbelievable,” Caroline told dressage-news.com. “”I’ve never seen shows like this, never even visited them.

“These are dreams I’ve had my whole life coming true. For me this is not real. To get to ride at Aachen is amazing.

“But I won’t believe it until I ride down the centerline.

“You can’t swim in the pool if you don’t jump off the diving board. It’s my chance now I’m going to do it.”

Caroline and the two horses leave their Wellington, Florida stables in about 10 days to be based with three-time Spanish Olympian Juan Matute and his family in Saumur, France. She is entered to compete Sagacious at Grand Prix in the CDI3* in Compiègne, France at the end of May before heading to Aachen for the CHIO June 25-30.

If the Aachen competitions go well, she said, she hopes to be considered for the U.S. team for the Nations Cup at Hickstead, England the first week of August, the final of a series of four team events being tested by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

Sagacious HF confirmed himself with two scores well above 70 per cent in CDI U25 events on the Florida winter circuit this year, the last year in the division for the rider who was the FEI Rising Star in 2010.

Caroline took over the ride last July on the 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Welt Hit II x Judith x Cocktail), who won team gold and individual silver for Lauren Sammis of the United States at the 2007 Pan American Games at small tour.

She teamed up with the Florida-based Juan Matute to deal with on-again, off-again resistance in the Grand Prix competition arena in her campaign to get scores high enough to get an invitation to Aachen.

Caroline Roffman and Her Highness O celebrating individual bronze medal at the Wellington Nations Cup where the pair also won gold on the USA 1 team. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Caroline Roffman and Her Highness O celebrating individual bronze medal at the Wellington Nations Cup where the pair also won gold on the USA 1 team. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Caroline began competing Her Highness O, 10-year-old Hanoverian mare (Hohenstein x Wild Lady O x Weltmeyer) in CDIs in January this year and in nine small tour starts during the Florida winter circuit racked up four wins, three second places and two thirds.

The pair is ranked fourth in the U.S. The combination was on the USA 1 gold medal team at the Wellington Nations Cup last month and also won individual bronze in the CDIO3*. And in 2012, they won the U.S. Developing Horse Championship presented by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International.

She had much success in the junior and young rider divisions, winning five medals and being awarded the prestigious Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy for the highest scoring young rider.

In 2012, Caroline won the 2012 U.S. Intermediare I Championship with Pie, a Hanoverian gelding (Worldly x World Lady x World Cup I) who was 10 years old at the time.

USA's Caroline Roffman on Pie, top scoring combination qualifying for Nations Cup. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Caroline Roffman and Pie. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“Aachen is pretty much the best horse show in the world,” Caroline said, “it’s pretty overwhelming. It’s an honor.

“If I never get to show again it would be a pretty good way to go out.”

Caroline describes herself as someone who takes life in stride, to stay calm and cool.

But she admits this is “one heck of an adventure” just “to have to ride in the warmup with these guys. I will have to get my game face on. It’s pretty crazy to be in the ring with the best in world. I’m really, truly living my dream and it’s a little terrifying.”

She plans to plant herself at ringside and soak up the atmosphere.

“For me” she said, “it’s about representing my country and showing in these amazing places. It’s pretty awesome where these horses can take us, it’s such a cool thing.”

Caroline Roffman receiving 2010 FEI Rising Star award in November. ©  William Tzeng
Caroline Roffman receiving 2010 FEI Rising Star award from Princess Haya, president of the International Equestrian Federation. © William Tzeng