Articles: Press Release
Paso Fino World Young Riders Equitation Championship:
A Testament to Progress of Sport
Lisa Patterson (508) 698-6810,
MIAMI, FL-July 21, 2006-Ernie Sanz, owner of Hacienda Guadalupe Paso Finos
in Miami, FL, has more than two decades of experience in the Paso Fino
industry. He recently had the honor of serving as a judge at the Sixth
World Young Riders Equitation Championship (Felix Santiago Oliver Equitation
Mundial). One of the things he came away with was the firm conviction that
the significant progress he saw in Paso Fino competition bodes very well for
the future of the breed.
"As with any competition of this magnitude, there are some riders that seem
to stand out, not because they are necessarily the best, but because they
are the most improved," said Sanz. "The teams who competed at the
Championship demonstrated great improvement in skill and preparedness
compared to the last time they were in competition. This speaks a lot for
our sport as a whole and its increasing level of skill and interest within
the equestrian community."
The Championship was held under the governance of the International
Confederation of Breeders of Paso Horses (CONFEPASO), July 3-9 in Kissimmee,
FL. Nearly 300 young riders, age 4-24, from seven countries took part in
the event, making it the largest CONFEPASO World Championship in history.
Countries with teams competing included Aruba, Colombia, Curacao, the
Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Venezuela.
Riders competed in separate Championships for boys and girls, and each
division competed according to age. In addition to mounted competition,
participants over 12 years old are required to take a written test with
questions relating to general horsemanship and competition rules.
The team from Puerto Rico shone, winning nine out of 12 division
Championships. Aruba, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic each won a
Championship in one division as well. For many of these young people, the
World Championship was their first experience riding on a team as well as
their first real taste of international competition.
"It was so emotional for everyone," said Sanz. "It was emotional for me,
too, to see all of these kids representing their respective countries.
There was a parade of countries before the mounted competition began, and it
was touching to see how excited they all were to be there as part of a
delegation representing their countries."
Sanz has dedicated most of his life to working with the Paso Fino breed. He
started the Hacienda Guadalupe ranch in Miami, FL, with his father nearly 25
years ago. The ranch has grown to house 120 horses, including nearly 20
broodmares and a very special stallion named "222" (pronounced Dos
Bred and trained at the ranch, 222 has won numerous awards. As a
3-year-old, 222 was named the U.S. National Champion. One year later, he
also took first place in the Classic Fino Colt division at the U.S. National
Championship. By the age of nine, 222 had already been named one of the top
10 Paso Fino sires in the country. He has also won numerous international
awards, including the Grand Championship at an international competition in
Puerto Rico when he was just 4 years old!
Progeny from Sanz's breeding farm have become well-known throughout the
world. Guadalupe del Secreto, a daughter of 222 bred at Hacienda Guadalupe,
is considered one of the world's best Paso Fino mares. At the 2003 World
Championship in Colombia, Guadalupe del Secreto was named the Grand World
Champion Fino Mare.
As the equestrian community's interest in the Paso Fino breed increases, the
skill and expertise of experienced Paso Fino breeders and trainers, like
Ernie Sanz, becomes ever more valuable.
"It's an encouragement to others like myself, who love the Paso Fino breed,
to see the progress of our breed and its growth in the horse world. I
strive everyday to help Paso Fino horses and owners reach their potential
and become the best they can be."
For more information on Paso Fino horses, please contact Ernie Sanz at (800)
289-6896 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Hacienda Guadalupe Paso Finos online