Beginning Nov. 7, it’s all about Paso Fino horses at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Florida. Mundial, a five-day celebration of the breed, begins today at the center and has attracted horses from 10 different countries.
The show begins daily at 8:30 a.m. and will continue into the evening hours. There will be many vendors and a variety of food, including some special Latin dishes native to the countries in attendance. Entertainment has been arranged before the evening competition begins each night. .
According to the United States Equestrian Federation, the Paso Fino horse was brought to the Americas on Christopher Columbus’ second voyage. The breed became very popular and soon spread to many Latin American countries. At the end of World War II, servicemen stationed in Puerto Rico and South America brought some of the horses back to the States.
The Paso Fino horse is known for its smooth, no-bounce four-beat lateral gait. To show spectators how smooth the ride really is, riders will hold a glass of wine in hand at exhibitions as they parade around the arena. Another interesting aspect of a Paso Fino horse show is the use of the “fino board,” which consists of a wooden walkway in the center of the arena. Paso Finos pass over the fino board, echoing the sound of the breed’s unique gaits.
For more information, contact the Paso Fino Horse Association at (813) 719-7777 or visit www.pfha.com.