Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Kentucky Horse Park
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.
Standardbred pacer Won The West will be welcomed to the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions on Saturday, October 6. This Two-Time Divisional and Breeders Crown Champion was retired in September as a leader in Standardbred racing with lifetime earnings of $3,939,836.
In honor of the horse’s arrival at the park, Mayor Jim Gray has declared October 6 “Won The West Day” in Lexington, KY, and his office has prepared a certificate that will be presented to the owners on Saturday.
Won The West made 109 lifetime starts in his career with 36 firsts, 24 seconds and 15 thirds. In 2009, he won the Breeders Crown in a stakes-record time of 1:47, and he won the same race again in 2010. This 8-year-old gelding was voted Older Pacer of the Year in 2009 and 2010 by the U.S. Harness Writers, and was twice awarded the Dan Patch trophy as top older pacing horse.
“The Kentucky Horse Park is honored to have Won The West join our Hall of Champions,” said John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “This exceptional horse is a star for the Standardbred industry, and we look forward to sharing him and his story with the throngs of visitors who enjoy the park each year. He will be a welcome addition to our champion line-up, and we thank his connections for entrusting his care to our team.”
Won The West was bred in New Jersey by Fair Winds Farm by Western Hanover out of Gabrielle by Dragon’s Lair, he was foaled in 2004. Won The West was purchased for $35,000 by trainer Brian Brown at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Brown purchased the colt for James Koehler’s Country Club Acres, Inc. of Findlay, Ohio; the Kantzer family’s Strollin Stable of Marion, Ohio; and, William Robinson of Findlay, Ohio.
With trainer Ron Burke added to the team in 2007, Won The West went on to be one of the highest-earning horses on the Standardbred racing circuit, beating some of the biggest names in racing such as Mister Big and winning the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Indiana Pacing Derby, the Bobby Quillin Memorial and the Dan Patch Invitational, as well as three American national stakes titles.
Won The West joins fellow Standardbred pacing champions Staying Together and Western Dreamer, and Standardbred trotting champion Mr. Muscleman, at the Hall of Champions.
The public is invited to welcome him to Kentucky at the Hall of Champions at the Won The West Welcome Ceremony at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 6. The welcome ceremony is open to the public, or guests may choose to stay and visit the rest of the park with regular visitor admission ($16 for adults, $8 for children 7-12, no charge for children 6 and under in the party).
The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man's relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and hosted more than 825,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 200 special events and horse shows in 2011. The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations. Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is The place to get close to horses. Open daily March 15 to Nov. 4, and Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 5 to March 15.