Rocko's Gold

Breed: Section B Welsh Pony
Age: 1999
Height: 12.3 HH
Breeder: Cherrine A. Henck
Breeding: Tide Creek Black Gold x Evans Ordinary Angel

The popularity of the pony in Olympic equestrian sports is growing in America. Recent impressive showings by ponies, such as Rocko’s Gold, are bringing attention to the versatility and talent of the sport pony.

Rocko stands a meer 12.3H, and could almost fit underneath some of the horses he competes against. However, Rocko shows that size doesn’t matter-- his movement and showmanship is equal to that of his talented warmblood counterparts. In fact, at the end of the day he often places higher than these taller competitors, showing the world that ponies can pack as big of a punch in the show ring as the large warmbloods.

Rocko had an impressive first year showing in dressage. Rocko showed at training level at five 3-star (USEF, USDF, and CDS recognized) shows. Rocko was the show-stopping center of attention in the barn aisles, warm-up ring, and show arena as people took note of this tiny package of personality, presence, bright buckskin color, and flashy movement.

Rocko won the CDS (California Dressage Society) high-point pony award at every show. In addition to his success against the other pony competitors at the shows, he also brought home first and second place ribbons in many of his classes in large and talented fields of horse-sized competitors. Rocko had the high point of the show in his tests at 2 different shows. In his last show of the year Rocko received two of the highest seven scores at the show. He received judges’ comments such as "correct basics", "lovely moving pony – fantastic potential!" and "Wonderful Canter!"

Rocko previously showcased his talent and the abilities of ponies in the jumper ring, winning show championships at Pebble Beach in the open 2'9" and 3' jumping classes in 2004 and 2005. A natural jumper, Rocko’s 12 foot stride easily propels him around the jumping course set up for horses. During his 2-year show-jumping effort, he attended four USEF "A" rated shows and won show championships in open jumping classes in all of them, competing against horses of all heights.

Rocko's trainer and friend is Shannon Bane, a Dressage instructor in Watsonville, CA. Shannon’s petite frame suits Rocko’s smaller but well-proportioned stature. Like most dressage riders she has ridden large horses her entire life - Rocko is the first pony she has competed with in dressage. She loves Rocko’s quick mind and bigger-than-life personality, and was surprised at how competitive he became in the show arena. She says, "Rocko’s gaits and show presence are amazing! He’s got everything that the larger warmbloods have, but in a smaller package. He’s like a sports car! The West Coast is really warming up to ponies in the show ring. I've been amazed at the response from the judges, competitors, and spectators - they love him too!"

Rocko was approved and licensed by the American Sport Pony Registry in 2003; at his ASPR inspection he was noted to be "an excellent example of a sport pony." He received his highest marks in Conformation, Breed Type and Movement, gaining First Premium distiction and winning the Reserve Show Championship.

With the demand for the sport pony growing, Rocko will continue to contribute his talents to the next generation of sport ponies.

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