After stealing the show at Rolex this year in her first four-star this spring, 22-year-old Libby Head is hoping to take her 15.2-hand OTTB Sir Rockstar to France this fall to tackle the Pau CCI4* on Oct. 22-26, which would be their first international competition together.
“I’m in college, and I don’t do this professionally, at least not right now, so I don’t know when I’m going to have another Advanced horse,” Libby said. I want to make every goal I can and take every opportunity. Rocky is 16, so time isn’t really on our side. We’re coming off a successful Rolex, and I want to keep the momentum going and aim high.”
We’ve featured Libby and Rocky in our Collegiate Spotlight and Rolex Rookies series, and it’s hard not to like this pair. Libby bought Rocky in 2008 as a scrawny, rangy 10-year-old who had attempted one Novice and brought him all the way through the levels herself.
Though she came in to Kentucky just hoping complete, Libby and “Rocky” delivered an impressive four-star debut, jumping clear with 7.6 time penalties over Derek Di Grazia’s beefed-up course and then jumping clear in show jumping to move up from 43rd after dressage to finish 19th.
After a successful first Rolex, Kyle Carter, who has coached Libby and Rocky since their Young Rider days in 2012, encouraged her to look into going overseas. She’s in Ocala now with Kyle for a couple days of training at his Five Ring Farm and will start working on a game plan to get Rocky ready for Pau.
“Kyle said Pau is a twisty track with a lot of tight turns, which would really suite Rocky,” Libby said. “He’s small and maneuverable, so I think he would be up to the challenge.”
Libby, who will be a senior at the University of Georgia this fall, took a semester off this past spring to focus on training for Rolex, and while she won’t have the luxury of taking more time off this fall, she said she feels more prepared now having already tackled one four-star.
“In aiming for Pau, I now have the knowledge base from the spring that will help keep me going into the fall,” Libby said. “I know how I prepared for Rolex and how that affected him, so I have that as a game plan.”
Libby is hoping to raise $35,000 to fund her trip to Pau, and she’s started a GoFundMe account. She will also be organizing a silent auction this fall in partnership with the UGA Eventing Team, with proceeds split between her Pau fund and the team.
“If Pau doesn’t work out, I’d still like to try to go over in the spring,” Libby said. “While I have an Advanced horse in Rocky, I figured why not?”
Best of luck to Libby as she aims to fundraise and train for Pau. If you’re interested in donating an item to the silent auction to support Libby’s trip, please email her at [email protected]. Click here to access her GoFundMe account.