Buenos Aires is the first Alberta-bred horse and the first Canadian Warmblood to represent Canada at the Olympic Games. To add to this, in the history of the Olympics, only one other horse has been bred, raised, trained and ridden by the same family or individual.

Buenos Aires was born and raised at Alborak Stables, owned by the Donnelly family. He is out of a mare purchased at the very first Canadian Warmblood Fall Classic Breeders’ Sale, Amphora, and by Touchstone Farms stallion Bajazzo. Buenos Aires was the first foal raised by the Donnellys and what a start in the business of breeding he turned out to be.

Trained by Sandra Donnelly, “B”, as she calls him, was a challenging young horse. “When he’s decided he’s not doing something, he’s simply not doing it”, according to Sandra. But from the start he had a presence and, early on, eventing coach Jody Sloper commented to Sandra, “He’s your team horse.” And she was right.

He took his time, advancing through each level of Eventing, each time Sandra wondering if he had what it took to move up…and he did, every time. Sandra says, “He’s not the fastest horse on the planet, but he’s reliable on the cross country course, uncomplicated and honest to his lines.” So, although they haven’t yet “made time” at the Advanced level, B is not short of accomplishments in the world of Eventing.

Sandra rode him to an Eventing team silver at the 2007 Pan-American games and they then went on to be the top placing Canadian pair at the 2008 Olympic Games, finishing 31st in the individual competition. Buenos Aires is the first Alberta-bred horse and the first Canadian Warmblood to represent Canada at the Olympic Games. To add to this, in the history of the Olympics, only one other horse has been bred, raised, trained and ridden by the same family or individual.

It wasn’t all clear sailing at the Olympics for Sandra and B -- he came up lame five days before the jog due to a muscle strain. After hitting him with massage, laser therapy, magnetics, physio and acupuncture, he was good to go, but lacking in very important training time. During the dressage portion of the competition a tv camera moving under a green tarp was most certainly horse eating, according to B. Although generally a very laid back kind of guy, Sandra says he can be a bit spooky with the ability to “spin and bolt on a dime and give back change”.

Buenos-Aires-ccDuring the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event in April last year, Buenos Aires sustained an injury on the cross country course and was unable to complete the competition. He was put on rehabilitation leave and spent a lot of time swimming in a lake near Alborak last summer. He’s apparently not a big fan of swimming as a pastime, preferring the speed and excitement of the cross country course.

Sandra has just recently put B back into training with a goal of qualifying for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. There are only three North American opportunities to qualify but Sandra is pretty confident in her big, brown, home-grown gelding.

For more information on Sandra Donnelly or Alborak Stable, visit http://www.alborakstable.com/