Canadian Dressage Team member Bonny Bonnello has finally made it home to western Canada, in Calgary, Alberta after her year long journey which led her and her horse Pikardi to the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, Kentucky 2010. But Pikardi, her 13-year-old partner she has co-owned with Jean and Bruce Bell since 2004 did not return with her.
Instead, the horse which caught the eye of Christophe Hess and subsequently Canadian Team coach Robert Dover as a solid team candidate stayed behind in Kentucky at, the Canadian WEG team training location to be sold.
Bonnello, the 1984 Olympian who represented Canada in the 1980 Alternate Olympics, the 1982 World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, and on the Canadian Silver Medal Team at the 1986 Dressage World Championships in Toronto returned to the world of High Performance Dressage after taking a long hiatus to raise her family. Bonnello had the horse, the trainer and the support to go for it again and that is what she did on 2010. “It has been a year since I decided to declare for the WEG and now it is over and what a wonderful experience it has been.” Bonnello told DressageDaily. “Robert (Dover) has been fantastic and so dedicated to the success of the team. I have travelled and made wonderful friends and met people that I have reacquainted with people from the past.” Bonnello who is retiring from international competition took a short break to reconnect with friends and family and is now busy starting to put her clinics and business back together after being absent for over 10 months.
“I am so proud of my horse Pikardi and how far he has come from a year ago. He has worked hard and also experienced things that he would never have been exposed to unless we had qualified for the European Tour at Lexington in April 2010 and then qualified in Europe for the Canadian Team for WEG. I always believed in Pikardi and still do.”
Bonnello’s time at Woodspring Farm owned by Kathy Priest and husband veterinarian Dr. Gary Priest was all she needed in order to decide the next step for Pikardi. “I had watched both Kathy and Olivia ride during the training camp and was impressed. Also, having time to get to know Kathy and be in her barn, it just left a good feeling,” said Bonnello. “This is the first time I have ever left my horse with anyone, so for me it had to be someone special, someone I knew would look after his and my best interests and Kathy is that person. I like her honesty and I love her accent! She easy to talk to and very approachable. It made leaving my equine partner a little easier.”
I have left Pikardi with Kathy Priest at Woodspring Farm, sadly, to sell for me. I hope someone sees in him what I do. He has not reached his potential yet.
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