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]
Published Feb. 1

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.”


  1. Debbie and her husband Michael, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, fish from the Dunedin Causeway Thursday. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission extended the period of catch and release for several species of fish along the west coast of Florida.
  2. John Conrad, 63, on left, with his father Joe Conrad, 90, have a history of running the Gasparilla Distance Classic together and plan to run the 5K this year. To help Joe celebrate moving up into a new age bracket, John has organized for several of Joe's family members to run with him. They'll be coming from all over the state and Southeast to take part in Saturday's race.
  3. Luis Espel, 22, uses the Cass Street bike lane to commute to work in Tampa. Times (2019)
  4. Shannan Panganiban, 26, and her husband Heath Panganiban, 28, with their three boys, from left, Owen, 9 months old, ,Ryland, 5 (in center), and Landon, 3, in their backyard with their kayak racks at their home on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. Shannon and Heath started Yak Tribe, a national kayak fishing community, and now they have started a free kayak rental program with the pilot location being out of their backyard.
  5. John Cena on top of a horse in Pasco County.
  6. Kathryn Sharkey, 9, of Masarkytown, proves to have a swift hand in casting at the Family Fishing Festival held Jan, 18 at Withlacoochee River  Park in Dade City. Looking on, is her dad, Devon Sharkey (right).
  7. Nov. 20, 2019• Arts & Entertainment
    Andrew Bryant runs in the 5K race at the annual Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot in Clearwater in 2018.
  8. Runners of all stripes, from beginners and kids to seasoned half-marathoners, will take part in St. Pete Run Fest this weekend.
  9. A skater does tricks at the Skatepark of Tampa, which will host Tampa Am Friday through Sunday.
  10. Times
Dania Vizzi, now 24,  of Odessa, stands for a portrait on the skeet range at Silver Dollar Shooters Club in Odessa. An Olympic hopeful, she won a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan-American games.
  11. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) gets a celebratory pat from team Pat Maroon (14) during an October game at Tampa's Amalie Arena.
  12. The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday.