The Paso Fino Horse Association is proud to present the 40th Annual Grand National Championship Show to the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, KY. “Brio in the Bluegrass” is the theme for this year’s event, which will bring close to 600 horses to Kentucky October 7-13, 2012. Brio is a Spanish word referring to the energy and lively spirit displayed in this breed. The event is included with Kentucky Horse Park admission during the hours of 9-5, and open to the public without charge in the evenings. The public is also welcome to participate in the “Ride a Paso Fino” program on Friday and Saturday to experience the naturally smooth ride for which the Paso Fino is known.
Audiences can view these remarkable horses competing all seven days of the event. Traditional lead line and under-saddle classes will be complimented by several recreational competitions, speed events, and exhibitions. Watch the Classic Fino type horses display their quick-stepping gait and cheer with the crowd as they move down the sounding board. Come see the 2nd Annual Paso Fino Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition – one of the fastest growing equine sports in the nation. Watch Paso Fino Horse Soccer, a growing interest among equestrians for both competitive and rehabilitative purposes. Watch Paso Finos barrel race and pole bend, showing off their agility and quickness. Watch the horses navigate natural hurdles in the Obstacle Trail Challenge and display their all-around versatility in the Freestyle Competition and a Freestyle Exhibition by Camilla Willings and her stallion ‘Mercy,’ the 2010 North American Wind Rider Challenge Champions. After all this, ride one for yourself in the Ride a Paso Fino program!
The Paso Fino horse is a gaited breed that is gaining popularity in the US due to their sweet temperaments and spirited nature under saddle – not to mention the smoothest ride in the world. Perfect for all riders, especially youth, these horses range in size from 13-15 hands and have the versatility required for any number of disciplines. Their size, smooth gait, and sweet demeanors also make them the choice mount for those with back injuries or limited mobility. Paso Finos come in every equine color, with long manes and tails. They naturally prefer their unique, smooth gait, but can also walk, canter, and even gallop like non-gaited breeds.
The Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, John Nicholson, says, “We are honored that the Paso Fino Horse Association has selected the Kentucky Horse Park to host their Grand National in 2012, which will be a wonderful asset to our park and the surrounding communities. It will also be an exciting introduction for Kentuckians who will quickly be dazzled and enamored by this very old and elegant Spanish breed. Their beauty and brilliant style will win countless hearts, and many local businesses will benefit from the Paso Fino Grand National moving to our state.”
The show is included with park admission during the day and free at night. The PFHA will be welcoming our US Veterans and Active Military with free admission on Friday of the show week. We invite any and all to come out and learn about this fabulous, gaited breed. For more information, visit www.pfha.org or watch online at www.PFHAlive.com. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
High resolution photos available.
LEXINGTON, KY (September 29, 2011) The Kentucky Horse Park will welcome four rare Marwari horses on permanent loan from Francesca Kelly, who imports this breed from India. Three of the horses arrived Tuesday, September 27.The horses came from Kelly's farm on Chappaquiddick Island off the coast of Massachusetts. Francesca Kelly is a writer who is dedicated to preserving the breed and has increased the number of these horses outside their native India. She is moving her herd to England and is allowing the park to keep three mares and a yearling. The Kentucky Horse Park is the only known location in North America where Marwari can be seen by the public. John Nicholson, executive director of the park, stated, "We are delighted and honored that Francesca Kelly has chosen the Kentucky Horse Park as the keeper of the last, precious band of these rare equines on this continent. They will be treasured by our staff and enjoyed by the literally millions of park visitors who will see them in the upcoming years." He continued, "We applaud the efforts of people like Ms. Kelly who dedicate their lives to preserving rare and endangered breeds." The Marwari horse was used hundreds of years ago as warhorses known for their extreme endurance. The Marwari are considered very brave and athletic horses. They are attentive and pick things up quickly through their senses. Visitors at the park during last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games watched "tent pegging" demonstrations using some of Ms. Kelly's Marwari. The most noted fact about this breed is their extremely distinct ears. The ears curve inward and sometimes touch or overlap when in front position. The ears are the main characteristic that the registry uses to judge this breed.
The breed is available in all colors but the albino is held in highest regard. The albino Marwari is often used for religious purposes and ceremonies in its native home of India. They often become very attached to their handler and can become protective of them.
The three Marwari mares are on view to the public during park hours. The fourth, a yearling colt, will arrive later this fall.
Photos by James Shambhu.
Laura is a 3-year-old Suffolk Punch, who just arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park on August 11, 2011, from her home in Alabama. She will be on staff in the park's Draft Horse Barn, representing her breed, the Suffolk, which originated in England.
The Suffolk Punch is small for a draft horse, usually only 16.1 hands, and always chestnut.
They are known as the Rolls Royce of the draft horse breeds.
This is the first time Laura has been away from her farm, so she is still a little unsure about her new home in Kentucky. Watch a video.