Le Roi, Shelly Francis' Grand Prix horse which took her two assistants Rebecca Waite and Ever Robak into the international arena, has been retired from sport.
Le Roi is a 19-year old Oldenburg gelding by L'Andiamo out of Donnerpearl (by Donnerhall). He is bred by American Ann Kitchel in the U.S.A..
Schoolmaster for Students
Le Roi was one of the many horses Shelly Francis produced to Grand Prix horse level, and he stood in line when she was competing internationally U.S. squad listed Grand Prix horses Doktor and Danilo. She discovered Le Roi as a foal at Kitchel's Huntington Farm in Vermont, where she handled the breeding stallions at the time.
Francis, however, never competed Le Roi but he became a schoolmaster for her two successive assistants, Rebecca Waite and Eber Robak.
Waite made her show debut on Le Roi in December 2016 at national Prix St Georges level at White Fences in Loxahatchee, Florida. Their international show debut followed in February 2017 at small tour level at the Global Dressage Festival, where they competed in four CDI's.
A year later they returned to Wellington for their international Grand Prix debut. Although the scores were not high, it was a good experience for Waite. The pair continued at national Grand Prix level through November 2019. Waite made herself independent and now runs her own training business in Loxahatchee.
Le Roi became a professor for young rider Ever Robak. She made her national show debut at YR level in February 2021 and steered him down her first international centerline at the CDI Ocala in April 2021. She rode two further CDI's in Ocala in the autumn.
In 2022 the combination moved up to Under 25 Grand Prix level and had their CDI-U25 debut in Ocala in September 2022, winning the Intermediaire II with 58.647%. The pair competed in one CDI this year, in Ocala last april.
At 19 Le Roi has been retired from competition sport.
"It with bittersweet feelings that we announce the retirement of Shelly Francis’ Le Roi. He has carried me through so many unforgettable milestones; from my first Young Rider CDI, to my first time ever riding a freestyle," said Robak. "He is truly “The King” to me and I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him over the last couple of years. He and Doktor have already begun trading secrets on how to best snag well-deserved treats from anyone walking by their paddock."
Photo © Susan Stickle