Stephany's dreams have always been big, but when she hit the road to Germany they grew exponentially. To get to Germany and afford the tuition for school she sold everything she owned, which left her with no money with which to bring a horse home from Europe. While at school, she wrote down her goals for the next year, which included buying her first pair of custom made dressage boots, getting published in a Dressage Magazine...and bringing home a free horse. A few close friends offered to forward her the money for a purchase, but Stephany knew that to honor their investment she would have to sell whatever horse she brought home after a season of showing.
Working at Rolf Henn's barn in Neuwied turned out to be the ticket...the golden ticket. Racoon 7 was a 12 year old Westphalen gelding that was supposed to be Rolly's next international horse, but had been sidelined from the international scene by a bizarre back conformation that required surgery. Set back from the original time frame for Rolly to show him, he was the horse that Stephany tried out on when she came to rolly's barn, and was being brought back to work by one of the other working students. As her time at Henn's barn went on, Rolly commented on her strong bond with the horse, saying that if she didn't find something to purchase he would give her "Rocky", as he was affectionately known. With each sales prospect that fell through, Stephany looked more and more to that promise, and in December of 2003 her dream became a reality: with the promise to never sell him and do the best by him that she could, the gift of Racoon 7 came home to Florida.
The pair attacked the show scene as only the young and foolhardy could do, and ended up with a fistful of accolades from their first season together, including being featured in the Chronicle of the Horse with their fairy tale story, and Reserve Championship at 4th level for Region 3. Stephany went on to successfully compete Rocky all the way through Intermediare I, until he was sadly sidelined by a rear suspensory injury just before Regionals.
After some time off and a careful rehab, Rocky reentered the show ring, but with a different rider - Stephany's wonderful friend anc client Georgianne Graves. Together, Rocky and Georgianne had a tremedously successful show season, ending up in 4th place for Training Level at Regional Championships, and their crowning achievement was Georgianne piloting Rocky to the Westphalen Horse of the Year at Training Level for the whole country (at the ripe old age of 19!).
Since then, Rocky has taught many people, but he was an exacting taskmaster and not the ride for every rider. He did go on to take a friend's client back to Regionals for one last go at 2nd level before his retirement at age 22. During his 10 year span in the American show ring, The Rock Star, as he became known, developed a following of fans stretching all across America, as much for his goofy treat begging as for his huge heart and movie star good looks.
At 27, the RockStar now bides his time at the farm managing the younger crowd, as the honorary Officer in Chief. We hope that he is with us for many, many more years.