One of the most inspiring horse acts I’ve ever seen was one which I witnessed while being the announcer at the 1991 Andslusian National show in Fort Worth Texas. We were ramping up for the Saturday night performances, and everybody was teasing me because it was rumored that Bo Derek’s horse would be there. About that time, up the stairs to the announcer’s stand came a young Mexican man with crewcut and blue pearl snap cowboy shirt handing me a cassette tape. “These Bo Derek music, fi’ minit” (holding a hand with all five fingers up) “play loud!” And he was gone.
That evening they radioed up that Centauri Bo was ready. I had no idea what he was to do. From beneath me I see a black horse coming into the arena. I’d started out to say “Centauro ridden by… ” until I saw no saddle. Then Sonna Warvell walked out in leotards. So I said “excuse me handled by…. ” and I slammed in the cassette. The music rocked and pulsed. The horse ran away, then ran back, circled around her, kneeled, and she got on bareback with no bridle and proceeded to perform every high school movement known to man. At the end, dead silence. I said “you can breathe now! “And the applause was deafening!
Later in the parking lot Ruben Cardenas introduced us to Sonna, and then to Ramon Becerra. “Oh yes he’s the driver who brought the horse!” I said. Ruben then informed me “yes, and he’s the trainer as well. He trained Centauro, and Sonna met the horse for the first time tonight in the arena!” I fell to my knees on the asphalt in honor of the young woman’s skill and the man’s talent! Since then they have racked up a staggering record of horse training feats and exhibitions, including their performances at EuroDisney. Ramon and I spoke again, later, in San Antonio, where he told me “Glenn, I no work horses any more” I was in the process of bewailing the loss of a truly great horse trainer when he added “I just play with them!”