Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bonfire -- some thoughts on a magical horse

It was in the news recently that Ulla Salzgeber's Olympic dressage horse Rusty was recently cloned. This puzzled me -- while I loved Rusty he seems an unlikely horse to clone. Nice as he was for his time, warmblood breeding has come a long way. Rusty, and most horses from the 90's, do not compare to today's modern warmblood.

I say most horses. The exception is Bonfire. He would stand up to any of the new stars -- the Damon Hills, the Quaterbacks, the Sandro Hits. He outclasses them all.

To me, Bonfire was one-of-a-kind. His talent shows us that there is much more to dressage than muscle, power, and big gaits. I love showy extended trots as much as the next girl -- if not more -- but that wasn't what Bonfire was about. What he (and Anky) brought to the picture was a musicality, an incredible lightness, and a sense of dancing that is unequaled. He had the soft loft of a ballerina. Every footfall was perfect, and the harmony and willingness was unwavering.

Watching Bonfire and Anky, they seemed more like soul mates that partners.  They are just -- one. I can't think of any other way to say it. Rest in peace, special boy. We will miss you.


  1. Interesting - give me one of the old D-line Hanoverians any day over the more modern lines!

  2. Oh my! All I can say is just... WOW. What an amazing ride! I am new to the world of Dressage and look forward to learning more!

  3. This brought tears.... he was so, so beautiful, you are right. Love this video and I'm glad you found it! The other one from this era who I thought was great, and really enjoyed watching, was Gigolo (I know they competed head-to-head).

    Thanks for the lovely tribute to the phenomenal Bonfire.

  4. That was always one of my favorite freestyles. Thanks for the memories.

  5. The horse is lovely. BUT, as always the riding from Anky is just not right and I'm mostly in pain for the really nice horse that tries so hard under bad circumstances...


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