Feb 20 2008, 05:01 PM
I read of Jeff's passing in the February issue of the Arabian Horse World.
I first met Jeff Wonnell when I started showing Arabians in the show ring. My orginal instructors where pro-thoroughbred and warned me that I was going inot a world of self-promoters and amateurs passing themselves off as trainers.
Not Jeff Wonnell. What a wonderful horseman in addition to being a gentleman, and a particularly decent individual. Born in 1919, when horses were still a way of life, he obviously stood out among the gadget trainers and he could get off a cow horse, saddle up a park horse and then finish with a driving horse and do it all without flamboyance or self aggrandizement.
For those who did not know Jeff, I'm sorry you did not have an opportunity to see one of the best of horsemen, and for those who did, I'm sure we all feel the loss of what is the passing of a era of which we were so lucky to be a part.
Feb 20 2008, 05:29 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Jeff Wonnell's family and friends as they grieve the passing of a great man.
CarolA HORSEMAN'S PRAYER
- author unknown -
Dearest God in heaven,
Give me the strength to guide my horse.
Make my hands soft and my head clear,
Let my horse understand me, and I him.
My heart You have blessed with a special love for these animals,
Let me never lose sight of it.
My soul You have gifted with a deep need for them,
Let that never lessen.
Always let my breath catch as the sun gleams on an elegant head,
Always may my throat tighten at the sound of a gentle nicker.
Let the scent of fresh hay and a new bag of grain always be sweet to me,
Let the touch of a warm nose on my hand always bring a smile.
I adore the joy of a warm day on the farm,
The grace and splendor of a running horse.
The thunder of its hooves makes my eyes burn and my heart soar,
Let it always be so.
Dearest God, grant me patience,
For horses are harnessed wind and wind can be flighty.
Let me not frighten or harm them,
Instead show me ways to understand.
Above all Dear God, fill my life with them,
I am not whole without them.
When I pass from this world, send my soul to no heaven without them,
For this love You have given me graces my existence.
I shall cherish it and praise You for it for all time,
Feb 20 2008, 05:47 PM
I wanted to share a wonderful website I found that pays tribute to Mr. Jeff Wonnell with stories and many photos: CLICK HERE
Feb 20 2008, 09:50 PM
I would have given an eye tooth to meet and become acquainted with Jeff Wonnell.
He is one horseman I've never heard anyone repeat a disparaging remark about.
I don't use the term "horseman" losely and even though I never met Mr. Wonnell, knowing his reputation, his background and his ability with horses, he epitomized that title.
If only there were more people in the Arabian world like him. His integrity, character and natural talent with horses would set the bar alot higher and "force" people to get their acts together or else.
Jack Teague was a fine horseman too. I loved seeing him and Authenticity perform at the1980 U.S Nationals.
Two great horsemen have gone on to bigger and better things. May God comfort their families.
I'm sure Jack, Jeff and Tom (McNair) are having a great time together.