[#27523 override="Dr. Cesar Parra" title="Dr. Cesar Parra"]
The highly enthusiastic Cesar grew up in Ibague, Colombia and then went to university in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia in South America where he earned his Doctor of Science of Dentistry degree. He came to the United States in 1983 to attend Continuing Education classes at Harvard and the following year he attended Boston University where he obtained a specialty in Pediatric Dentistry. From 1985 to 1987, he taught Pediatric Dentistry at Boston University. Cesar returned to Bogotá in 1987 to continue his practice as a dentist. As a stress relief from his work, he started riding again, a sport he had participated in as a child. He initially was drawn to show jumping, but when he discovered dressage, he never looked back, and since 1995 he has been a popular and successful competitor and trainer on the international scene. He is a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club, one of a small group of trainers in this prestigious group.
Over the years, Cesar steadily gained a name on the international scene, helping to lead the way for a growing number of dressage competitors from South America. Riding for his native Colombia, he was the sole South American representative at the 2005 CDIO Aachen. It was a great responsibility representing his native country Colombia in the international field of competitors competing at the world’s most prestigious equestrian show in Aachen, Germany. But he held his own, placing 4th in the Kur of the small tour and 10th in the CDI tour Grand Prix. "If there is one place to prove yourself, it's Aachen ," Cesar said. "I felt honored to ride among the best riders in the world. Being around them teaches me more and will ultimately make me a better rider." He made a return trip to Aachen in the summer of 2006 when he earned the right to compete in the highly-competitive World Equestrian Games.
One of Cesar’s greatest personal challenges came in late 2007 when, while on a business trip to Germany, he was rushed to the hospital on September 5. He was diagnosed as having suffered several small strokes in the cerebellum. He recovered within days and tests showed no signs of any permanent damage. In November of 2007, Cesar had to undergo surgery to correct some problems in his heart that had triggered the strokes.
Cesar was fortunate enough to fully recover from the incident, but it certainly reminded him of how precious are our lives and the people with whom we share our lives. “God has given me many gifts, and one of his greatest gifts is the wonderful people that surrounded me and who, during that time, stood by me, fought for me and prayed for me. I am so very grateful.”
Cesar’s other challenge in 2007 was overcoming the sudden loss of Donavan in July from a colic attack. During the 2007 Florida winter circuit, Cesar consistently cleaned up in the lower levels with Donavan. The five-year-old Oldenburg, co-owned and ridden by Cesar, easily earned scores in the upper 70s at First Level and was the USEF high score of the show at a number of competitions. The stallion, by Diamond Hit out of Consul, was a star before he ever set foot in America. He was the champion in the five-year-old division at the 2006 Bundeschampionate (German Federal Young Horse Championships).
In the 2008 competition year, Cesar was clearly back on track as a competitive rider. With such stars as the 10-year-old Rhinelander gelding Furst Fabio (Fidermark out of Worldchamp), Cinnco de Mayo and Ecu 8, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding by Ehrentush owned by Savannah, George residents Dr. Jackson Morgan and his wife Carolyne, Cesar spent much time in the winner's circle. The Morgans continue to be strong supporters of the Performance Farms team. “He really opened his house and his stables to us and we met him and our friendship just blossomed from there,” Dr. Morgan said of Cesar. “What really impressed us was the positive atmosphere of Cesar and his entire stable and staff. The farm is like this perfect place where everyone has the perfect attitude and work ethic. It made us feel that a perfect situation actually does exist and my wife and I are really happy with the situation.”
[#27038 override="A Strategy for Success" title="A Strategy for Success"]