Congress Champion, Just Good Enough, Passes
GoHorseShow is sad to report the passing of Congress Champion, Just Good Enough (Roanie). The 1999 red roan gelding was by the legendary Zippos Mr Good Bar and out of Zippadee Chrissy. He was bred by William Davis of Mason, Michigan and last owned and loved by youth exhibitor, Bella D’Onofrio of Columbus, Ohio. The 18-year-old gelding was a Congress and Level 1 Reserve Champion with Bella D’Onofrio.
“He suffered an untreatable injury and our hearts are broken,” Bella’s mother, Jennifer D’Onofrio told us. “They say every horse should be loved by a little girl and he certainly was, and I think he knew that.”
Bella shared her thoughts about the loss of her beloved horse. “Roanie, if love alone could have kept you here, you would have lived forever. You brought me so much joy, and so many dreams came true. Run free in Heaven and enjoy the retirement you so deserved. I will miss you. Thank you, Missy Thyfault and Brittany Sega for taking such good care of him and making us the champions we had become.”
“I attended the Congress without a trainer in search of a small fry horse for my then eight-year-old daughter, who had little to no riding experience,” Jennifer recalls. “I was lost and about to give up when the trainer, Missy Thyfault returned my call on a different horse who wasn’t a great fit but suggested we try Roanie. Despite being 16’2, he was a gentle giant that loved his job and it showed. The immediate comfort and joy on my daughter’s face when she rode him was evident.”
Bella and Roanie had a very successful small fry career despite losing some months to recovery from colic surgery. They finished the year Reserve Champions in the Ohio All-Around and third at the Congress in the All-Around.
As they continued into their 13 & Under career, they focused on showmanship and trail. They were Reserve Champions in 13 & Under Showmanship at the Level One East Championships in 2015 and NSBA Champions in 11& Under Trail at Congress. At the age of 11, she achieved her superior in showmanship.
Another highlight was the duo winning the $500 added Showmanship at the NOQHA Futurity show. “She marched out there and beat everyone, including the amateurs many of them she idolized. So many people say showmanship is an exercise where they must show as a team. These two functioned as one. People always asked me if I was nervous when she showed. I wasn’t with Roanie. He was a true testament to Zippos Mr Goodbar. He was bred for honesty and talent and he got both,” Jennifer says. “He often took care of her in trail picking spots for her and always being honest.”
Roanie also provided a chance for Jennifer to return to showing after a 25-year hiatus. Her trainer, Missy Thyfault convinced her to give it a try. They showed in the Novice Amateur Showmanship, trail and eventually horsemanship. “I got to live my childhood dream of hearing my name called out at Congress finishing in the Top 15 in Level One Amateur Horsemanship out of 144 entries.”
Bella and Roanie’s final dance was at last year’s Congress where they were named Champions in 11& Under Showmanship. “What better way to end their career than on top. Her dream was to take him to the World Show in 2018 in 13 & Under Showmanship. We will never know the end of that dream, but I sure know who will win in my dreams.”
Condolences go out to the D’Onofrio Family during this difficult time.