Marco Bernal Receives Athlete Award From Colombian President
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 25–Colombian dressage rider Marco Bernal, who represented his country in the 2009 FEI World Cup in Las Vegas, has been presented with an Athlete Award from Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez.
“This is the only award of its kind that has been given out to a Colombian athlete and it is truly an honor to win it,” Bernal said after the private ceremony in Colombia. “I placed 11th in the World Cup last year and Colombia was thrilled to be 11th best in the world. It really meant a lot to my country that I was able to represent them in the World Cup and it also means a lot to me to be given this award.”
Bernal owns and operates Marco Bernal International Dressage in Wellington.
Of his meeting with the president, Bernal said: “He is also a horse person so he asked me about my horses and he was very up-to-date on my career.”
The Colombian Olympic committee also awarded him with a certificate during the ceremony.
Bernal’s award recognized his career that includes riding for Colombia in multiple Pan American Games, winning a silver medal in the 1999 Pan Am Games, earning a record score of 85.385 per cent on Farewell IV at Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival in 2005, and earning the highest score at the National Horse Show in 2004.
Bernal grew up in Colombia where he developed his love for horses on his father’s farm. He was the first Latin American to graduate from the German riding school in Warendorf. Under sponsorship by the National Colombian Coffee Federation, he competes three horses: Halbgott, a Trakehner stallion; the Westphalian stallion Farewell IV, and another Westphalien stallion, Maybach.