Overcoming Adversity

[#27523 override="Dr. Cesar Parra" title="Dr. Cesar Parra"]

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).

With the loss of Donavan, in 2007, Cesar’s focused narrowed to the other stars in his barn. One other youngster, the nine-year-old Rhinelander gelding Furst Fabio (Fidermark out of Worldchamp), launched his FEI career during the 2007 Florida season.

In addition to Cinnco de Mayo, Cesar’s other Grand Prix partner is Ecu 8. Owned by Savannah, George residents Dr. Jackson Morgan and his wife Carolyne, Ecu 8 is an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding by Ehrentush He arrived in the U.S. from Germany just weeks before Cesar began competing him in the 2007 winter season in Florida and they were quickly off to winning start. At the Zada Enterprises LLC, 2007 WEF Dressage Classic, Cesar and Ecu 8 finished second in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 68.20. Quite an achievement considering that it was the first time the pair rode to their freestyle music. It was, as Dr. Morgan put it, “unbelievable.” The pair have also already started their Grand Prix blue ribbon collection.

Cesar and the Morgans first connected in the fall of 2006 when the Morgans sought out advice for some of their horses. The two doctors immediately hit it off. “He really opened his house and his stables to us and we met him and our friendship just blossomed from there,” Dr. Morgan said. “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.”

With the challenges of 2007 behind him and a stable of wonderful horses now available to him, Cesar is confident that there are many successes ahead in his competitive career. And no doubt, with the tremendous support of his family and friends and his unwavering faith, Cesar is set to continue to be one of the world’s leading dressage competitors.

Building an International Reputation