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Paso Fino Horse Association’s 50th Anniversary

November 17, 2022


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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!”

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