The USEA is saddened to share the news that Archie Rocks (Le Monde x Unbridled Diva), an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by rider Felix Vogg, Jürgen Vogg, and Phoenix Eventing S.à.r.l., was euthanized on Saturday, October 26, 2019, following a fall on cross-country at fence 28B at the Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*-L.
“It is with a great sadness that we announce that Archie Rocks, ridden by Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and owned by Phoenix Eventing S.à.r.l., was put down on Saturday, October 26, following a fall on the cross-country, while competing at the CCI5*-L of Les 5 Etoiles de Pau, France,” the event said in a statement. “The fall occurred on fence 28B. The decision to put the horse down was taken by the owner, in consultation with the show veterinarians."
“Archie Rocks suffered an irreparable shoulder fracture, considered to be severe by the veterinarians on the site,” Vogg said in the statement. “Despite all efforts to save him, we have had to take the difficult decision to put him to sleep. Archie was a very special horse in many respects. Special thoughts go to all his American fans, who have given him their support throughout his career. He was outstanding on the cross-country, a sweet horse who gave his best to his rider.”
Archie Rocks raced in the United States under the name Smittys Messiah, earning over $30,000 in 30 starts from 2010 to 2013. Maya Simmons purchased Smittys Messiah from Chris Talley and rechristened him Archie Rocks after her grandfather. Together, Archie Rocks and Simmons competed together through the CCI4*-S level before passing the reins to Buck Davidson. Davidson piloted Archie Rocks to top-10 finishes in their four starts together, including a win in the 2018 Plantation Field CIC3*. Vogg purchased Archie Rocks at the end of 2018 and during the last year earned top finishes at the Pratoni del Vivaro CCIO4*-S and the Strzegom CCI4*-L. They also represented Switzerland at the European Championships this summer.
The USEA extends our deepest condolences to all Archie Rocks’s connections and fans.
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There is still time to experience the long format of three-day eventing this year, by competing in a fall USEA Classic Series Event! The USEA Classic Series offers long-format eventing at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, and Preliminary levels, and there are still a few left on the fall calendar in various Areas.
This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.
I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.