West Palm Beach, FL (March 10, 2010) – Colombian dressage rider Marco Bernal lived every rider’s dream during the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI, when he heard his country’s national anthem played three times for three great wins. Bernal’s success came aboard his Westphalian stallion Farewell IV, the same stallion that he set the world record on at WEF in 2005 when they scored a record high score of 85.385%. “This was the best show for me so far. It is nice when you work so long with a horse and you have great results, ” Bernal said. “It was also a great feeling to hear my national anthem played three times in a row. I have had Farewell for almost five years and he improves every day. It is really nice to see that improvement.”
Farewell IV and Bernal won the FEI Prix St. Georges class with a score of 70.263%, the FEI Intermediaire I class with a 71.228% and the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle with a score of 69.600%. Bernal also competed Halgbott and Maybach at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, and was pleased with both stallions. In addition, Maybach won the Best Conditioned Horse at the CDI jog at the show.
“All of my horses were very consistent and as a trainer that makes me feel great. Each time I ride into the ring my horses are getting better and better,” Bernal said. “I was very pleased with how all three stallions performed.”
Bernal, who owns and operates Marco Bernal International Dressage in Wellington and is sponsored by the National Colombian Coffee Federation, is well known for competing his three stallions on the dressage circuit – Halbgott, Maybach and Farwell IV. In 2007, he qualified for the Pan Am Games aboard Halbgott, a Trakehner stallion, earned the world record at WEF about Farewell IV, and with Maybach, also a Westphalian stallion, Bernal earned the highest score at the National Horse Show in 2004.
“I wasn’t looking for stallions and it wasn’t my goal to have them,” Bernal said. “I was in Germany looking for a horse for a client when I saw Halbgott. He was only three years old but I knew I wanted to have him. It took me five years to be able to buy him.”
Bernal shares a similar story regarding his stallions Farewell and Maybach. “One day a friend in Germany sent me a video of these two horses. I didn’t have the money to buy them, but I asked him to save them for me,” Bernal said. “Eventually, someone else bought them for me to show and later I was able to buy both horses from them. So at the end of the day they became mine and it is a very happy ending.”
Bernal has a long and distinguished career that includes riding for Colombia in multiple Pan American Games, winning a silver medal in the 1999 Pan Am Games, representing Colombia at the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup in Las Vegas, and competing for Colombia at the Central American and Caribbean Games. Recently, Bernal earned the highest award bestowed upon an athlete in Colombia when he was awarded the Athlete’s Award, presented to him by the Colombian President.
In addition to riding for Colombia, Bernal is the image of Café de Colombia and is sponsored by the National Colombian Coffee Federation, a federation well known for supplying coffee beans to many prominent coffee brands around the world. It’s a win-win sponsorship for Bernal, who says he starts every day with a cup of Colombian coffee. “Since I am a life-long lover of coffee, it is a perfect fit.” Bernal rides all three of his stallions under the National Colombian Coffee Federation sponsorship.
During the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, Bernal also coached his student Luis Denizard, from Puerto Rico, who was riding Nalando. “Luis and I are both hoping to compete for our countries at the World Equestrian Games,” Bernal said. “I was happy with how Luis rode. I also look forward to achieving our goals.”
For more information on Bernal or his Marco Bernal International Dressage farm in Wellington, visit his website at www.marcobernaldressage.com.
Photo: Colombian dressage rider Marco Bernal heard his national anthem played three times at the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby, thanks to three wins aboard his Westphalian stallion Farewell IV. Bernal, who owns and operates Marco Bernal International Dressage in Wellington and is sponsored by the National Colombian Coffee Federation, is well known on the dressage circuit for competing his three stallions.