The Paso Fino is a horse bred by the Spanish and brought to the plantations of Colombia and other Central and South American counties because of their endurance and comfortable ride.
Paso Fino actually means "fine step."
Several Paso Finos will be on display this weekend at the Shelby Showplace Arena.
Be careful. It can lead to a lifetime love for some great and elegant horses.
All Pasos share their heritage with their Peruvian cousins, the American Mustangs, and other descendants of Colonial Spanish horses. History tells us, when Christopher Columbus arrived from Spain he brought soldiers and 20 horses. That was the beginning of the Paso Fino.
It is said the horse lovers are born that way. Fourteen-year-old Meredeth Cole is a good example. She's been riding since she was 5.
Meredeth may not have started riding until she was in kindergarten but she fell in love the first time she saw that unique gait that only exists with the Paso Finos.
"Since she was 3 she kept saying she was going to ride," recalls Christina Cole, Meredeth's mother. "My cousin's daughter is 5 years older than her and she saw mMrgan ride. That's how she got started and I kept saying when you are 5-years-old. On her fifth birthday she said I can ride now."
And ride she has.
"She's done well," Christina said. "She has made the USA Team. USA has gone to Columbia, South America, been to Puerto Rico, last year in Miami and next summer in the Dominican Republic."
Paso Finos are great but soccer is cheaper. A Paso can cost several hundred dollars to more than $100,000.
"Just board alone I would say $600 a month with board and feed and travel," said mom Christine. "A week could be $1,500 just for the show and then you have hotel still, food and gas."
And then another blue ribbon. You see a girl and her horse as one. Champions, what price glory.