Thursday, February 13, 2020
Boyd Zontelli Passes Away
by Maria Cooper
Heaven gained another angel last night. My dad, Boyd Zontelli, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends.
Those of you who knew him, knew what an incredible man he was. I don't say this just because he was my dad. I say this because the Dos Equis man had absolutely nothing on him. His life was fascinating. He was born into an Italian family in Minnesota in a small mining town (where he developed his love of horses) and then moved to Hollywood at a young age to pursue acting where met and befriended a few of the legends of the time. He had lots of acting roles and Burt Lancaster recommended him to John Ford. John Ford wanted him to co-star in a John Wayne movie and tried to sign him but he ultimately decided to pursue another path. He did, however, maintain his friendship with Steve McQueen and they were motorcycle riding buddies until Steve's passing.
His love of animals, particularly horses, is what drove him. When he spoke about horses his eyes would light up. He was kind and gentle and offered a new way of riding that was not typical in the horse world. He proved to everyone that his way, to show love and kindness and respect to the horse, was the winning way. He won the Tevis Cup three times and still holds the record. He was both a kind and gentle man but also a badass. He is a true Legend. I loved him so much and the world will not be the same without him.