Name: Bella Donofrio
Where do you live and with who?
I live in Upper Arlington, Ohio. I live with my parents, Jenn and Mark. I also have one brother, his name is Griffin.
How did you get involved in horses?
I got involved with horses thanks to my mom. She showed when she was little. My grandparents had her show horse, Teddy. He was 30 but my cousins and I all shared him and I just knew I loved it.
What discipline(s)/class(es) do you show in and why did you choose that discipline or class(es)?
I show in the 13 & under all around. I show the trail, western riding, showmanship, hunter under saddle, pleasure, horsemanship and equitation. I chose to do these classes because I love to ride all disciplines. We have added classes as I am ready to try something new. The newest class I have added is western riding and I love the challenge it has brought me. It happens so fast and you and your horse have to be honest and working together through every lead change. My horse Curly is a very hardworking and honest horse. He is able to manage a lot of classes and do them all well.
What would be impossible for you to give up? (something that's not horse related)
I could not give up playing soccer or snow skiing. I love soccer so much because I love my teammates and the thrill of scoring goals. I could not give up ski racing because I get to go really fast and use my aggressive nature to carve round gates. It’s a huge adrenaline rush!
Tell us something that no one knows about you.
Something that no one knows about me is that last year around Congress I started taking hunter jumper lessons. My instructor Angela Moore at Stealaway Farm has taught me a lot and I feel stronger, eager and ready to approach equitation patterns with confidence!
Where can we find you when you aren't at a horse show?
When I am not at a horse show I am usually playing a soccer game, skiing or hanging out with my friends and family.
What do you see your future self doing?
When I am older I would like to become an Orthopedic Surgeon like my dad or a physical therapist like my mom. I am fascinated by the human body and how it is able to adapt to injury and exercise.
If you could ride any horse, who would it be and why?
If I could ride any horse I would ride my horse Just Good Enough (Roanie) one more time. I would ride him one more time because I miss him dearly. The last time I rode him, I did not know it would be my last ride on him. He truly taught me to trust him. He taught me to ride and love the trail course. He took care of me.
What is a goal that you want to accomplish during your time showing horses?
A goal I would like to accomplish while showing horses is winning the World Show. To have a globe would be an incredible honor.
Who is your hero/role model?
My heros/role models are my parents. My mom because she inspires me to do my very best and to give nothing but my best. My dad is also my role model because he shows me I should always be calm, positive, and confident in myself.
What is the biggest dream you have accomplished showing horses?
The biggest dream I have ever accomplished in horse showing was winning the 11&under Showmanship at The Quarter Horse Congress in 2016 with Just Good Enough. Being a congress champion is a dream come true and a day I will never forget.
An accomplishment you have achieved outside the show arena.
An accomplishment that I have achieved outside of showing was that I qualified for the Pennsylvania State Championship in Alpine Ski Racing. I am also proud that I achieved a 4.0 GPA in 7th grade despite struggling with dyslexia. I work very hard in my studies and appreciate all my teachers helping me overcome this frustrating learning challenge. They taught me anything is possible. My trainer Missy Thyfault is also very patient with me and I owe so much to her.
Interviewed by Marina Marotto