Man riding a horse
Individual gold medalists What A Wave & Bernard Fonck • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek Hruska

Trainer Bernard Fonck Reaches NRHA Milestone

Belgian Bernard Fonck recently became the first European-based trainer to achieve the status of National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Two Million Dollar Rider.

Fonck unofficially earned the designation at the Italian Reinign Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity in Cremona, Italy, where he took the Level 4 Open aboard Spook Sunburst.

He and Spook Sunburst (Great Sun Burst x All About Spook x Smart Spook) won the Level 4 Open with a 227.5. He also tied for fourth with Katarzyna Roleska’s CSG Shiningun (Colonels Shining Gun x ARC Think Chic x Snapper Cal Bar) and also made the Level 4 Open finals with GP Hot Revolution, a dun stallion by Einsteins Revolution out of Smart CP Schow Girl (by DA Chic Jays) owned by Golden Paint Ranch. In all, he earned $122,244 during the show, which ran Dec. 7-15, in northern Italy.

Fonck has competed in European and North American NRHA events since 2002. He has earned multiple honors over the years and, most recently, won the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games Individual gold medal with NRHA Open World Champion What A Wave (Tidal Wave Jack x What A Sunrise x Sunrise Enterprise).

Other honors include:

* Seven NRHA World Open World Championships: 2008 on Lenas Pegesis (Lenas Telesis x Peggys Peppy x Peppy San Badger) — with Ann Fonck; 2010 and 2011 on Great Sun Burst (Great Resolve x Docs Sun Burst x Docs Sidewinder); 2012 on Sail On Top Whizard (Whizard Jac x Miss N Sis x Miss N Cash); and 2015, 2016, and 2017 on What A Wave.

* Multiple FEI World Equestrian Games medalist: 2018 Individual Gold Medalist on What A Wave and three-time Team Silver Medalist for Belgium.

* 2009 NRHA European Futurity Levels 4 and 3 Open Championships with Sail On Top Whizard.

2013 NRHA European Derby L4 Open Champion On Smart N Sparkin (Smart Chic Olena x Setting Off Sparks x Shining Spark).

2014 IRHA 3-Year-Old Futurity L4 Open Champion on Lil Ruf Whiz N Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Lil Trouble Miss x Lil Ruf Peppy) and Reserve Champion on Big Fat (Big Chex To Cash x ARC Senorita Cal Bar x Snapper Cal Bar).

2016 NRHA Germany Breeders 4-Year-Old Futurity L4 Open Champion on Gunners Big Chex (PT) (Big Chex To Cash x Gunna B Dee One [PT] x Colonels Smoking Gun[Gunner]) and Reserve Champion on Spook Shine Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Shines x Shining Spark).

Other riders who have surpassed the Two Million Dollar NRHA Lifetime Earnings mark include Tim McQuay (2005), Shawn Flarida (2006), Craig Schmersal (2010), Andrea Fappani (2010), Duane Latimer (2014), Mandy McCutcheon (2014), Jordan Larson (2015), and Todd Bergen (2015).

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