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Lindsay Campbell and Lluvia de La Pluma, ballroom scene, Spirit of the Horse.
Photo credit to Beautiful Disaster Imagery.

I was thrown from my mare, Lluvia de La Pluma (Lu), in late 2021 on an endurance ride. She violently spooked at an unknown horse eating monster. My pelvis broke for the second time in two years. 

During the long four months spent healing and attending physical therapy I thought perhaps I would give up distance riding altogether. However, in March 2022 I decided to try again at a 25 mile ride held near my home. We completed successfully. No spooks this time, but keeping that potential in mind and with hot weather fast approaching I decided to spend spring and summer building a better relationship with Lu rather than competing in endurance. Cross training never hurts physical condition either.

A friend told me about The Oaks Equestrian Center, a few miles from me, where she was taking dressage lessons with KYB Dressage on her Andalusian and Lusitano horses. I visited and met the trainer and KYB owner, Yvonne Barteau. Ms. Barteau was Principal Trainer and Director of Entertainment at Arabian Nights Dinner Theater in Kissimmee, Florida before it’s closure.  Prior to that she trained and competed internationally at the highest levels of dressage. In addition to running KYB Dressage, Ms. Barteau founded and continues to run a rescue facility, Horses Without Humans Rescue Organization in Bell, Florida.

After discussing my experience with Lu and my tentative goals for us, Ms. Barteau and I began round pen liberty work with Lu in the spring. When a young liberty trainer from Lexington, Kentucky, Ariana Sakaris, arrived for a couple of months Lu and I also worked with her. We learned a lot. And it was fun. All my goals were met but one (the lie down), but there is always summer 2023.

After Ariana left Lu and I did some basic dressage work under saddle. We learned a lot there, too: Lateral flexion, changes in speed within gait, shoulder and hip control, half-halts, getting true poll release and so on. The latter is still very much a work in progress and will be for some time. My partner, Ed Casillas, also took some riding lessons on his stallion, Marco del Padre. 

Joe Edward Casillas and Marco del Padre, ballroom scene, The Spirit of the Horse.
Credit to Beautiful Disaster Imagery.

In late summer Ms. Barteau asked us if we would like to participate with our Pasos in the 13th production of The Spirit of the Horse at the World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Ocala in December. All after cost proceeds would go to Horses Without Humans. Not knowing exactly what we were getting into we said yes. How could we not when given such a great opportunity to showcase our Pasos at a topnotch facility and within a truly professional, well-known and beloved holiday show including internationally known riders and horses.

Practice for the three shows to be held in December commenced in mid-October. We practiced twice a week and it was really fascinating to see our “ballroom” scene (the last scene in the show) start to come together. There were nine horse and rider pairs in the scene and we had ten minutes of riding patterns to perform. I had done some drill team riding years ago, but that was nothing compared to this. At times I think we all despaired of ever accomplishing the desired flow and precision needed to come even close to a professional event. It was not easy to rein in two gaited distance horses used to going straight down the trail at a good clip. Trying to match the trot speed of the other horses (usually slower than our gait) was a challenge. Everything Ed and I learned in lessons was brought to bear and then some. 

It wasn’t just riding. It was also finding and/or designing costumes for both horse and rider. Ed and I were in the fourth (street) scene on our own feet and had to dress in Charles Dickenson era clothes. The ballroom scene demanded as much glitter and glam as possible for both horse and rider. We had a ton of fun shopping for the street scene in second hand and costume places for hats, cloaks and canes among other things. I was lucky to get on loan a fifty-year old costume to wear to the ‘ball” by a friend and well-known Paso Fino breeder, Mrs. Barbara Preiss. Her daughter, Carol Preiss, wore it to the opening of The Oaks Mall in Gainesville, Florida in 1978. Prior to that it had been commissioned and worn by another Paso Fino owner and breeder, Mrs. Betty Klein. My friend Penny Mann Bollhorst, also a Paso owner, found me some gold thread shot off-white lace to cover my head which I fastened down with a gold headband. Ed still had his tuxedo shirts, jacket and pants from the few shows he went to years ago. Horse glam was found at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, on-line and in my old jewelry box. And we even “shopped” at the onsite costume room set up by another performer to find a bonnet and colorful wool scarf for me to wear on the street just prior to the first show. Very professional to have this available.

We trailered to WEC two days prior to the first show. Friend Penny arrived a day earlier to set up her sewing area so she could do last minute alterations and make a few additions to horse costumes. She graciously agreed to put shavings in our horses’ stalls and to decorate our tack stall so we didn’t have quite so much to set up upon arrival. 

Lindsay Campbell and Joe Edward Casillas on Lluvia de La Pluma and Marco del Padre at the Spirit of the Horse.
Photo credit to Beautiful Disaster Imagery

We practiced three more times prior to the first show. The second time was dress rehearsal. That was a lesson in timing. We had to hurry back from the street scene, change into our royal looking costumes and get to the warm up arena to prepare for the ballroom scene. The skirt of my costume was made of heavy velvet, so heavy that I could not mount or dismount with it on. So, Penny to the rescue again. I climbed aboard Lu and she threw the skirt across Lu’s rump like a blanket, then hooked the top part of the costume to the skirt. Each night, to save time later at costume change, we left Lu and Marco saddled in their stalls, tied to the wall munching their special treat of alfalfa or peanut hay while we hustled to the street scene and back. 

All three shows went well and the audiences seemed to love the magic the horses wrought dancing in the colorful lights. Each night, after the conclusion of the ballroom scene and the show, we turned our horses to the rail and invited the audience down to see the horses up close and to speak with us. Our two Pasos garnered a lot of attention due to their smooth gait and overall demeaner. Many had no idea what a Paso Fino is and we did quite a bit of educating. Many of our Paso owning friends attended and we were happy to bring people in to support the most worthy cause of horse rescue.

Ed and I really enjoyed the two plus months we prepared for the event. We didn’t always like it at the time, but we persevered and got it done. We are grateful for the experience and honored to have been asked to participate. We learned a bit about real entertaining in show business. And we are very happy to have been able to show everyone how versatile our gaited “ponies” are.

To learn more about Horses Without Humans Rescue Organization look on Facebook or on the web https//

At the 2022 PFHA Grand National Show, Vivaldi was inducted into the PFHA Hall of Fame.  He is the 2021 Confepaso Mundial (World Cup) Grand Champion Fino Stallion. At the 2020 Grand National show held in Perry, GA Vivaldi de Besilu made history as he won Grand National Champion Fino Stallion for the 5th consecutive time (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), breaking the record of the legendary Capuchino of which had won 4 times consecutively 33 years prior (1984-1987). Vivaldi also made his presence known at the 2017 XIII Mundial in Bogota, Colombia taking 1st Place Paso Fino Stallion and in 2019 at the XIV Mundial in San Juan, Puerto Rico he was 3rd Place Stallion. In 2020 Vivaldi was also the first Paso Fino to have been nominated for the USEF Horse of the Year award. In 2020 Vivaldi was also the first Paso Fino to have been nominated for the USEF Horse of the Year award. Vivaldi was also honored to be the 2021 Breyer Model and Breyerfest Guest Horse.

2022 marked the Paso Fino Horse Association’s 50th Anniversary.  The year culminated in a huge celebration at the Grand National Show held at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala Florida where members were taken on a journey to honor the men, the women and the horses of this incredible breed.  

The roots of PFHA began over 50 years ago, when thirty some Paso Fino aficionados got together to “officially” formulate their passion into a business to register pureblood Paso Fino horses.  From this meeting in 1972 the Paso Fino Owner and Breeders group was formed.  Notably member number #1 was issued to the late Rosalie MacWilliams and member #2 was the late George LaHood.  These two along with the other organizers laid the groundwork for what has become the Paso Fino Horse Association.  In the United States, the Paso Fino Horse Association is the purest registry of Paso Fino horses and hosts the premier competition for its members to attain National Championship titles.  

These founding members gave the distinguished title of “Foundation Sires” to 6 worthy stallions.  

  • Bolero LaCe
  • El Pastor
  • Faeton LaCe
  • Hilaches
  • Lucerito
  • Mar de Plata LaCe

These stallions helped to establish the foundation of today’s Paso Fino horses and secure a future for the Paso Fino horse here in the United States of America.

Tonight, as we recognize the contribution of our founders. We have the distinct honor to have four of them with us in this arena: 

At the 50th Anniversary ceremony four members were honored for their contributions, their foresight, and their continued passion!

  • Carmen Cepero
  • Margaret Fahringer
  • Julio “Cece” Figueroa
  • And Henrietta Ratliff at the young age of 92

These four individuals have held numerous positions within our Association, helping it thrive and become respected worldwide. As an Association, PFHA has become the leader due to the high standards that have been set and maintained.

As this newly founded Association developed into a business reality – the leadership was also formed.  The Presidents were the volunteers that stepped up and took the reins leading our Association down the path to where we are today.  The following is a list of PFHA Presidents who helped forge the way.  

  • Ray Byrd

  • George LaHood
  • Julio “Cece” Figuero
  • Elna White
  • Tom Moreland
  • Stanley Wadsworth
  • Thomas Ulesmann 
  • Kay Chiappetta
  • James McPherson
  • Jorge Amaro
  • Millie Roberts
  • Rick Meyer
  • Larry Johnson
  • Sharon Quinn Dixon
  • Robin Ratliff
  • Edward Smith
  • Lee Vulgaris
  • Gregg Miller
  • Sharon Londoño
  • Jose M. Colon


These dedicated individuals rose to the challenges of their times – through growth, hurricanes, pandemics, and whatever hardships came their way THEY persevered and “We are PFHA!”


In 1998, under the Presidency of Mr. Larry Johnson, the Paso Fino Horse Association established a “Hall of Fame” to recognize members and horses.  In 1999 the first inductees were nominated. That first year four members and four horses were inducted, followed by three in 2000 and two in 2001.  Starting in 2002, the Association began the process as we know it today choosing one member and one horse from the nominations.

The Hall of Fame Inductees for Horses are:

  • 1999 Coral LaCE 
  • 1999 Plebeyo 
  • 1999 Kera que tal 
  • 1999 Capuchino 
  • 2000 Mar de Plata LaCE 
  • 2000 Ensueno de Colombia
  • 2000 El Pastor
  • 2001 Majestuoso
  • 2002 Hilachas 
  • 2003 Nevada 
  • 2004 Resorte Cuarto 
  • 2005 El Caliente Aji B/R 
  • 2006 Bochica Tres 
  • 2007 El Vicario Ltd. 
  • 2008 Forest Cabin Erectorita 
  • 2009 Semilla de Corazon Bravo 
  • 2010 Favorito que tal 
  • 2011 Profeta de Besilu 
  • 2012 Resorte Ocha donde es 2013 Ponderoso Coloso 
  • 2014 Marlena LaCE 
  • 2015 Artillero Arroyo Maraca 
  • 2016 El Chino de El Batey
  • 2019 Manuela del Conde
  • 2020 JLM Jaranero
  • 2021 Lolita de Napoleon owned by Megan Johnson

Members who have contributed greatly to the PFHA are honored with their induction into the Members Hall of Fame.  They include

  • 1999 Rosalie MacWilliam 

  • 1999 Dr. Carolyn Ziegler 
  • 1999 Marion P. Geiger 
  • 1999 George Lahood Jr. 
  • 2000 Charles Minter Sr. 
  • 2000 Julio "Cese"Figueroa 
  • 2000 Raven Briggs 
  • 2001 Fred Moretti 
  • 2001 Tom and Mary Uelsmann 
  • 2002 Henrietta Ratliff 
  • 2003 Dr. Maurice L. Hirsh Jr. 
  • 2004 Alvaro Iriarte 
  • 2005 Ray and Winona Walton 
  • 2006 Dr. Jose M. Laracuente
  • 2007 Dr. Carmen Cepero 
  • 2008 Barbara Preiss
  • 2010 Art Glatfelter 
  • 2011 Ray Gillis 
  • 2012 Richard Lockhart 
  • 2013 William Minter 
  • 2014 Benjamin Leon Jr.
  • 2017 Carolyn Barren 
  • 2018 KK Dubois 
  • 2019 Louis Robert Spence II 
  • 2020 Richard “Dick” Miller
  • 2021 Janice and Rick Meyer
  • 2022 Lee Vulgaris



As an Association we grew to host the most prestigious shows with some of the most dedicated, knowledgeable, and respected officials in the industry.  In 2019 the Board of Directors wanted to acknowledge those that had dedicated themselves as officials representing the PFHA by granting those worthy of Emeritus Status.  Our past honorees include:

  • 2019  Dr. Jose Laracuente
  • 2019  Richard “Dick” Lockhart
  • 2019  Fred Moretti
  • 2020  Alvaro Iriarte
  • 2020  Charles Minter Sr. 
  • 2020  Dr Miguel Pastrana
  • 2021  Dr. Carmen Cepero
  • 2022 Dr. Rolando Colon Nebot

Our 2022 honoree, Dr. Rolando Colón Nebot is a breeder, exhibitor and retired international judge of Paso horses.  He was certified as a Senior Certified Judge by the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA); a “R” with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) of the United States, as well as being certified by FEDEQUINAS from Colombia and the International Paso Horse Confederation (CONFEPASO).

Dr Colón Nebot is a LIFE member of the Paso Fino Horse Association and an Active member of the Puerto Rican Association of Paso Fino Horse Breeders of America (Los Abiertos).

One of founder members and first president of the Puerto Rican Association of Paso Horse Judges.

Dr Colón Nebot used his expertise to form the organization CONFEPASO in 1991. He then served as vice president.  He assisted in editing the first by laws and regulations of CONFEPASO.  In recognition of his extraordinary work, he was bestowed an honorary life membership.

In addition to being an official of PFHA, he served as member of the Judges and Stewards and Education committees.  He wrote several articles with an emphasis to the controversial issues referencing the paso fino and trocha horses and their gaits.  

Dr Colón Nebot is the author of the several books: “El Caballo de Paso, Estudio Ilustrado de sus Aires” y “El Caballo de Trocha desde el Arco a la Trocha de Nuestros Días”

As a judge, he has officiated in many different countries such as the Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba, Venezuela, Colombia, the United States and Puerto Rico. He has also judged the World Championships of Paso Horses (The Mundial) in the years 1986, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2007 and serve as a judge for the PFHA National Show during the years 1997, 1999 and 2004. 

Dr. Rolando Colon Nebot is an orthopaedic surgeon in Puerto Rico where he is the Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon and Medical Director of the Hospital Pavia de Arecibo.

Congratulations to our 2022 Emeritus Status Winner!


For an association to reach the height of success that PFHA enjoys today requires tremendous sacrifice and endless volunteer hours.  We would like to salute those individuals for their time, dedication, and continued support. There are numerous members deserving of such an award.
PFHA honors those members who were and remain one of the first 1,500 to join the association

Decade of Distinction Honorees

Decade of Distinction Honorees

Member #131  Carlos R Blanco

Member #137  Patti Blichmann

Member #212  Alexandra Amador

Member #284 Osvaldo de La Vega

Member #346 Rufino Figueroa

Member #347 Daniel Chaguin Figueroa

Member #376 Edith “Edie” Gandy

Presented in Memoriam of Member #389 Phyllis Gaudreau

Member #401 Dr. Rosanne Gmuer

Member #478 Michael Hoo

Member #506 Alvaro Iriarte

Member #507 Magda Iriarte Reid

Member #542 Carolyn Barren

Member #545 Jennifer Karnes

Member #676 Rick Meyer

Member #690 Bonnie Minter

Member #691 Charles Minter, Jr.

Presented in Memoriam of Member #692 Charles Minter, Sr.

Member #684 Bill Minter

Member #695 Nicanor Miranda

Member #720 Fred Moretti

Member #790 Ellen Perez

Member #808 Barbara Preiss

Member #832 Robin Ratliff

Member #887 Ernesto Sanz

Member #910 Laura Scouten

Presented in Memoriam of Member #976 Margaret Stewart

Member #978 Pamela Frady

Member #1006 Cindy Griffeth

Member #1018 Pat Figueroa

Member #1023 Elizabeth “Beth” Uelsmann

Presented in Memoriam of Member #1024 Larry Ulesmann

Presented in Memoriam of Member # 1025 & 1026 Mary & Tom Ulesmann

Member #1076 Lynn Gallop

Presented in Memoriam of Member #1090 Robert “Bobby” Yunits

Presented in Memoriam of Member #1182 Clemencia Iriarte Tobar

Member # 1392 Angelo Usategui

Member #1491 Rose Ann “Annie” Harper-Howell

And from Canada – Denise (Bos) Langford


We the members of PFHA – Thank you for the decades you have supported, loved and dedicated to this amazing breed of horse.  We are PFHA because of YOU!

Remarks from PFHA’s current President, Jose M. Colon 

We are grateful to Gladymar Vrkic for our new trophy

We are grateful to Gladymar Vrkic for our new trophy

“As we reflect on our history with the respect it deserves, we move forward with a creation to represent our future.   

A new trophy has been designed by renowned sculptor Summer Frost that truly represents our amazing Paso Fino breed.  This coveted award will be presented at our 2023 Grand National Show marking our step into the next 50 years igniting a fire for the next generation.  This trophy made possible by the generous donation of PFHA member – Gladymar Vrkic.   We are forever grateful to Gladymar who made possible this remarkable representation of the Paso Fino horse for our signature award.


Our future is now – Our future is bright – Our future is YOU the members of the PFHA!  With you there is the promise of another 50 years!  We dedicate the 2022 Grand National Show to YOU our members with much gratitude and honor!”

Even after 34 years love springs eternal.

Harland Currie's love of horses started from childhood. When he was only 3 years old, his father brought a little white pony to their Wisconsin dairy farm, sparking an interest that would last a lifetime. In the 1980s, after many years of showing quarter horses, a serious back injury led to Harland's discovery of the Paso Fino and their smooth gait - He was instantly hooked. Two years later, Pover-T-Farm was created named for an inside joke that clearly these horses were going to bankrupt him! Harland had quickly established a small herd of 4 broodmares and a handsome gelding for showing. For the next several years, Harland and his small herd bred, showed, and grew to more than 22 horses! If you visited Pover-T-Farm today in Union Kentucky, you might not be able to tell that it was once home to national champions and numerous flashy foals. The farm sits atop a beautiful Kentucky hill with huge maple trees and miles of wood board fencing. Hills once filled with many horses now hold but a few. One thing unchanged by this passage of time is the love Harland has for his 4-legged “children.” Instead of babies and show horses, the farm is now home to Harland’s beloved, aging trail horses and some grateful kill pen rescues. A tribute to the essence of the Paso Fino breed, at first glance you may not realize that among Harland's horses are two 28-year-olds and a very special 34-year-old gelding, Dorado de Plebeyo del San. When Harland often leans against the stall to gently pet Dorado’s fuzzy face, a spark lights in both their cataract-filled eyes as he regales any eager listener with tales of trail riding mishaps and parade shenanigans. It has been a few years since the duo saddled up together, but you can still see that bond that only comes once in a lifetime and a spark of brio in both of their hearts.

By Virginia Foster
Photographer Ron Colburn

PFHA Board of Directors has demonstrated their strong commitment to our recreational riding members by voting unanimously to implement the Trail Horse Test (THT) program. The program is designed to recognize the responsive, well-mannered trail horse. This is not a competitive obstacle challenge, rather the horse is judged against a standard of performance as it completes the tasks normally performed, before, during and after a trail ride. The standards are set at three levels of performance: Junior, Senior and Master Level. The test is divided into 7 categories: trailer loading; grooming & tacking; ground exercises; exercises under saddle; performance on the trail; trail obstacles; and the most important category-overall temperament. Each category is further divided into test elements that are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. The horse must receive a passing grade before advancing to the next level.

The program is opened to all breeds. For PFHA registered horses, the level the horse achieves is recorded in the horse’s PFHA registry record. Any PFHA member can host a Trial Horse Test. The test is managed much like the regional shows are. The requestor is responsible for organizing and managing the event. The requestor keeps whatever profit is earned from the event.

The PFHA Recreational Rider Committee, under Judi Bradbury’s chairmanship, is administering this program. It has been in development for several years. We thank the numerous trainers, judges, and amateurs that have contributed to the refinement of the program, especially Dick Teachout who came up with the original idea; Rick Shaffer who donated countless hours setting the frame work; Liz Sherman who edited and re-edited the documents I produced that describe the program; Nola Haupert-Keill who hosted and judged the first beta test in 2015; Judi Bradbury who hosted the second beta test and all the participants who allowed us to use them as guinea pigs. In 2017, the program took off to a great start thanks to the generosity and hospitality of Peggy Tanner, who hosted the first official test at her Paradise Farm in Bixby Oklahoma on March 26, 2017. (And believe me her farm is paradise.) Seven participants elected to be tested at the Junior level. One opted to be tested at the Junior and Senior level. We are happy to announce Rick Shaffer, the judge, passed the following seven horses at the Junior level: Rico ridden by Rebecca Hoover; Chico ridden by Michele Rader; Birdie ridden by Tonia Colburn; Diego ridden by Leigh Ann Hoover; Calesita ridden by Margaretta Mays; Prince ridden by Tom Mays; and Silver ridden by LeeAnn Dreadfulwater.

Each were awarded a certificate, a small medal bridle tag with the words “PFHA JR Trail Horse”, and a patch with the PFHA Logo. They were also provided with a copy of their scorecards, so they know where they excelled and what they need to work on.

These are comments from the participants and spectators of the first test.
“Give this program a try before you judge it.”
“I learned a lot. I have a step by step plan on what I need to work on.”
“I thought it was just going to be pros showing off, making me feel dumb. It was not that. It was all of us learning how to work with our horses. Rick was fantastic!!”
“I wish I had brought a horse.”
“I will be back in October for the next test.”

We encourage members to submit suggestions for improvement to the Rec Rider Committee Chair, Judi Bradbury at This is your program, Rec Riders! Let’s show the world what great trail horses we have.

From left to right – LeighAnn Hoover, LeeAnn Dreadfulwater, Peggy Tanner, Rebecca Hoover. Tonia Colburn, Rick Shaffer, Virginia Foster, Margaretta Mays, Tom Mays, Michele Rader


PFHA Trail Horse Test Program

Rick Shaffer judged the exercises under saddle while Virginia Foster recorded Rick’s scores for each horse for each test element.


PFHA Trail Horse Test Program

Rick Shaffer judged the ground work exercises.


Rick Shaffer gave Tom Mays training tips on how to use the wall to train turn on the haunches.


Chico ridden by Michele Rader scored a perfect score on the dreaded water obstacle.


Birdie ridden by Tonia Colburn kept a consistent speed at the corto and scored high for it.


Calesita ridden by Margaretta Mays scored well at the mailbox.


Silver ridden by LeeAnn Dreadfulwater stepped lightly through the poles and received a high score.


Rico ridden by Rebbecca Hoover scored high on this obstacle that tests Rico’s ability to obey commands to move all parts of his body.


LeighAnn Hoover received all 5s (perfect) for grooming and tacking. Diego never moved a muscle.

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