Bernard Fonck is a reining phenomenon. Originally from Belgium, he has quickly risen through the ranks to become the first European-based trainer to achieve the status of National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Two Million Dollar Rider. Bernard has been competing in European and North American NRHA events since 2002, earning multiple titles over those years. He is a seven-time NRHA World Open Champion and a multiple World Equestrian Games medalist, winning Individual Gold on What a Wave in 2018 and Team Silver for Belgium three times.
All of those titles and accomplishments are despite the fact that he didn’t start seriously riding until he was 28 when his wife, pro rider Ann Poels Fonck, was pregnant.
I give most of the credit to my success to my wife. She taught me how to ride so that I could take over her training work while she was pregnant. Through so many years of working together, Ann and I have become quite an efficient team.
The two don’t just ride together, they also run Fonck Performance Horses where they breed and train elite Quarter Horses. Fonck says the key to success is having stallions and mares with excellent athletic ability and talent – and for a rider to have the right attitude.
Get good training. Work at the biggest places with the best trainers and keep your eyes open. Attitude is everything, and never give up! If you can dream it, you can do it.
One dream that Fonck still holds is to ride in the finals of the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma with a young horse that he’s bred and trained himself. To help realize that dream, Fonck has developed his own bit collection for Metalab.
I have been using Metalab bits in my barn already, but nothing like what are designing now. This bit series will bring reining to a new level.
You can learn more about Bernard Fonck’s bit collection here.