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From Unlikely to Unstoppable

Dr. Selders Witnesses the Transformation of a Dressage Champion

Taking a Gamble

Terri Rocovich is a woman who knows what it means to take a chance. Once an upper-level marketing executive, her passion for eventing spurred the leap from her comfortable corporate position to riding and training full time in dressage. "It was scary," she remembers, "but once I had the opportunity to do what I love every day, I never questioned that decision for a second." Her gamble has more than paid off with unprecedented success in the dressage ring atop the second life-changing chance she took — the strapping mahogany bay, Uiver.

Terri's close friend and veterinarian, Dr. Corine Selders, has watched this special partnership form from the very beginning. "Uiver was brought over from Holland and formed quite the reputation," she says. A point that Terri won’t dispute, "he was most certainly hot and difficult to handle, but it was a good fit. There was a comfort level there from the beginning." With three years behind them and a now formidable bond, Dr. Selders has witnessed Terri and trainer David Blake transform Uiver from a once intimidating giant to an all-in champion whose heart belongs to her. "She loves that horse, and he loves her back."

Dr. Corine SeldersCourtesy Photo

The Dark Horse

Uiver may have come with a less than amiable reputation, but he had one more surprise in store. "Uiver had a suspensory strain and surgery for a fractured splint bone in the two years prior to Terri purchasing him," says Dr. Selders. "It was a question as to whether he would remain sound, especially at the level where Terri wanted to take him." Together, Dr. Selders and Terri planned for Uiver’s long-term wellness and have stuck with that winning formula. "Uiver gets a lot of preventive care, especially focused on his joints and muscles as his level of work and competition increases," says Dr. Selders. "This includes the right nutrition. I'm a big believer that it’s part of practicing good preventive medicine, and I trust Platinum Performance to fill that role." Terri didn’t need convincing, believing that horses should be fed and maintained the way nature intended. "Uiver gets good-quality timothy, rice bran and a combination of Platinum Performance Wellness, Osteon for his bones and soft tissue and Platinum Metabolic Support."

Together, Uiver and Terri have gone from quite literally the dark horse of the dressage world, to now competing amongst the top riders in the sport. "Uiver and Terri have had success that's really unheard of," Dr. Selders says proudly. "Climbing from Third Level, Prix St. Georges, Intermediare, then on to Grand Prix, all in three years. They’re now competing in the open division against Olympic-level riders, which is incredible considering where they each started."

“Hard work, preventive care, nutrition, training — it all adds up to create an athlete that’s happier, healthier and performs with greater durability.”
— Terri Rocovich, Uiver’s Owner & Rider

A Shared Belief

It's clear when listening to Dr. Selders talk about this horse and rider team, that she has a vested interest in their success. The close friendship and trust shared between the two women can be seen on several levels, including their common approach to Uiver's care. "Dr. Selders has become a good friend," says Terri. "Her approach is similar to mine in that we each believe firmly that you get out what you put in — hard work, preventive care, nutrition, training — it all adds up to create an athlete that’s happier, healthier and performs with greater durability." Dr. Selders agrees, "how Uiver holds up in upper level dressage is thanks in no small part to his nutritional advantage. He's strong and healthy, and that shows."

These days the big bay once deemed difficult and too hot to handle, sits under saddle with Dr. Selder's 14-year-old daughter, Lexie, smiling widely from his back. When she turned 12 years old, it was Lexie's birthday wish to ride the handsome gelding that seems to hold the hearts of the women in his life. She hasn't stopped since. "You come across these partnerships, and it’s hard to describe," reflects Terri, "from the first time I sat on Uiver's back, I knew I belonged there. I've worked really hard, but it's a labor of love. It's a lot of luck, good people like Dr. Selders who have helped me along the way and a horse that gives his entire heart and soul for me."

Horse: Uiver

  • 2001 Dutch Warmblood Gelding
  • Platinum Performance® Equine Wellness
  • Platinum Metabolic Support
  • Osteon®

Owner & Rider: Terri Rocovich

  • Owner and Dressage Trainer, Rocovich Equestrian
  • Chairwoman, National Testing Committee, United States Pony Club

Veterinarian: Corine Selders, DVM

  • Cedar Creek Equine Veterinary Practice
  • Ramona, California
  • Graduate of Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine
Jessie Bengoa
  • by Jessie Bengoa, Platinum Performance®