USPRE was the Guest of Honor at this year’s 37th annual Bonanza, the national PRE show of Costa Rica, and Vice President Betsy Ketcham, with her husband Chris, had the pleasure of attending this outstanding event. The entire ASOCPRE board was on hand to present USPRE with an impressive plaque to recognize the work of USPRE for the PRE Horse in America. ASOCPRE President, Mauricio Arce Lara , emphasized the importance of strong relationships among PRE breed associations in the Americas and his desire to further strengthen the relationship between our two associations.
Costa Ricans are well known for their friendliness and hospitality, and the Bonanza show was no exception. Throughout the show, the atmosphere amongst the exhibitors, handlers, show staff and spectators was friendly and welcoming and the overall feel of the show was informal and fun. Lasting a total of 5 days, the Bonanzaµ is perhaps the most diverse PRE breed show outside of Spain. Along with the usual morphology and functionality classes, there were a variety of other performance classes and a wide range of midday and evening performances by PRE horses and other breeds as well. One of the best exhibits was the “Gran Noche de Sementales”, where the 20 of the most well-known PRE stallions are invited to the evening exhibition. Most of these were not horses participating in the show, but rather past champions and other famous horses.
Interestingly, the Costa Rican breeders are progressive in their use of mares and geldings. The “Concurso de Tradición Costarricense” was an exhibit of traditional riding using exclusively PRE mares, and an impressive grey mare was used for the long lining exhibition. Some of the driving teams were mares as well. The show included a section for PRE geldings which included both morphology and functionality. This class was equal in size to the corresponding stallion class, and included a number of beautiful, well-ridden horses.
Certainly the most entertaining class was the Doma de Campo class, a trail obstacle course primarily for owners and breeders. Riders had to open a gate, ride through, and close it behind them while horseback, sidepass over poles, walk a bridge, weave a set of poles, and jump a short fence – and all in a race against the clock!
Intermission entertainment arranged by the ASOCPRE show management included an exhibition of reining patterns using quarter horses and musical freestyle rides by the Costa Rica team members. Friday night’s party was set in motion by a local traditional mariachi band and Saturday night’s festivities included a lively concert by Expresso y Kalhe, featuring current popular Latin music and plenty of dancing.
The weather was typical for this time of year, temperate with a minor drizzle in the afternoons, except for the final day when the skies opened and drenched the showgrounds with an impressive downpour. The show was delayed for a couple of hours to allow the arena to drain, followed by the championship classes and special prizes.
USPRE would like to congratulate the organizers and participants of the Bonanza for a spectacular show, and thank ASOCPRE for their hospitality and generosity.
1. Winning Cobra of Andre Garnier
2. Winner’s Circle
3. Proud new owner of Indio JT, bred by Juan Tirado
4. Cobra by Yeguada Jocha
6. Ignacio Bravo
7. USPRE Vice President Betsy Ketcham and former ASOCPRE President Andre Garnier
8. PRE Breeders of Costa Rica
9. Members of ASOCPRE and family of Mauricio Arce Lara
10. Grandchildren of Andre Garner vie for the prize
11. Costa Rican Dressage Team rider
12. Cobra competition
13. Betsy and Chris Ketcham with President Mauricio Arce Lara
14. Costa Rican Dressage Team rider
15. Senior Stallion of Andre Garnier
16. All the handlers of the show