Dear Readers,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the lives of everyone in Tampa Bay and to so many businesses in our community. Here at the Tampa Bay Times, we continue to provide free, up-to-date information at as a public service. But we need your help. Please consider supporting us by subscribing or donating, and by sharing our work. Thank you.

  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Outdoors

Can you see him? John Cena takes riding lesson in Pasco

WWE legend and actor John Cena was a natural on a horse, his trainer said.
John Cena on top of a horse in Pasco County. [Ginger Hollow]
John Cena on top of a horse in Pasco County. [Ginger Hollow]

LAND O LAKES — Denise Perrotta got the call earlier in the week. An actor who lives in the area needed a horse-riding lesson on Wednesday to prepare for an upcoming movie.

The man on the other line of the phone didn’t say who the actor would be, just that the horse should probably be one that could handle a large man. Then, on Wednesday, the man appeared at her ranch: John Cena.

He arrived alone, Perrotta said, and was “a pleasure to work with and among the nicest of guys around.” Cena, a Land O’ Lakes resident himself, rode Imagine — a rescue horse — for about 45 minutes and was a natural.

“I joked with him and said he looked like John Wayne up on the horse,” Perrotta said. “He seemed to like that joke.”

Perrotta shared a photo of Cena, the WWE legend and actor who will soon be starring in Fast & Furious 9, towering on top of the horse to her Facebook page.

She said there that Cena will be donating money to Equestrian Inc. Equine Rescue — a Tampa-based organization that rescues and cares for horses — in lieu of paying her directly for the lesson.

“It was an awesome experience,” she said. “He truly was such a great guy.”