European Championship 2000 
... the very first one 
by Eugen  Eder

For Pasos and other gaited horses of South American origin is our biggest goal for the coming year. "Pasos" means Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, Partbreds, Ibero-Americanos, Trocha and Trote y Galope.  They  all  are  part  of  the 
German Pasohorse Association             (Pasopferde - Verband Germany).
We are very excited about this and very curious what the names of the first European Champions are going to be.

In 1999 we had already guests from Switzerland, Austria, France and Sweden showing their horses so this idea of an European Championship was born. Instead of waiting for the Paso scenario to develop more rapidly here in Europe the Pasopferde - Verband decided to push it a little and we are positiv about the support of the other Paso-Horse-Clubs. This event is a must for everybody who wants to be part of  our  "who´s who" ! Within the last years we have learned a lot and found ways making the right "cultural adaptations" to promote the Pasos here in the Old World.

Six Paso Finos who go to shows of different breeds to promote the Pasos. The riders are, on their own expense, doing this since years. They let other people ride their horses and many of them became aficionados just by en- joying a three minute ride.


At the Nationals in Perry, during the shows in Fort Worth, in Santa Barbara and at the IV Mundial De Caballos De Paso in Tampa many of our German friends could enjoy both, the sparkling "Latin" ambiente and the perfection of the American show.
With 1200 Pasos overall and about the same number of aficionados we won't come close to this kind of an event but we count on an ongoing good development, on our breeders and riders enthusiasm and on quality horses.

As we all know good horses are easy to show but hard to get and it seems that the meaning of quality depends on the point of view, on trends, on mainstreams sometimes created by a few. The point is: the show horse, able to win the blue ribbons is great for its looks, for the owners and riders prestige but what makes him a real good horse are his abilities as a everyday working horse.

If we stress Belleza (beauty) and Arrogancia (expression), Fortaleza (stamina, strength, endurance), and Nobleza (noble-mindeness) might fade out.  If we say Brio we don't mean hectic, tension and histery . If we say capacity we don't mean blue ribbons. We mean the lifetime capacity. The Paso started, as a four-year-old should still be a good ride when he turns twelve and shouldn't be decrepit with sixteen. We might be successful in short term breeding program to give the prestigious buyer what he wants: the winner, the favorite color, the.... However, we see this kind of success, those vogues earlier than we can see the long term damage we may do to  the whole breed. Veterinarians and medications won't solve this dilemma.
Our ideal still is the working horse that is able to perform well in the show ring. Nice theory? For breeding stock a necessity in Germany and most parts of Europe. The law requires stallions to qualify for breeding. It's strikt, it´s tough, it asks for a "one hundred-day training with a final test" before the stud turns six years old. For Pasos the Pasopferde-Verband negotiated for a different handling because Pasos are different. But still, they have to proof the steadiness of gait in a forty minute test plus have to score at least a 7 (on a scale from 0 to 10) in two different show classes. If a breeder wants to sell offspring he is advised to have his mares tested in the same way. The buyer pays attention! 

Every year we invite American judges and it is always hard to explain: If those stallions and mares just perform in an average way (below a 7) you have to be brave enough to tell the owner, knowing that you are "gelding" his stallion and making his mare look inferior. Fortunately the horses have a second try and there are two judges, a vet and the official from the Department of Agriculture to prevent "lonely" decissions. The score judging conformation and character has also to be on the upper part of the scale. Otherwise no breeding permit! So if our breeders import horses from America they better are of high quality and the first European Championship will be a marker of how far we have gone in the right direction and a good place for the aficionado and future owner of a Paso to get a survey and impression of what is going on in our still small Paso-Horse-World. The European market is wide open and hopefully we can see some good horses from American breeders at our Championship. This would be a support more than welcome.

"Festifal La Estrella" 
was a top performer in Germany for years

Besides our shows, there were lots of initiatives for trail rides. One to three days events and if one reads the articles about those rides in our magazine Pasopferde aktuell you get the impression that trail rides are so much fun that there will be more and more every year. 

What is also coming along well are the young riders (age 7 - 16) in their own classes and the first clinic just for those youngsters is planned for next summer.

Seems that our Association will be kept busy and motivated. Our friends in South America and the US will hopefully support our efforts to promote the Pasos in Europe.Lately I e-mailed a short note to an aficionado in the US and within 24 hours more than a dozen breeders, judges and trainers responded. What a surprise, I should not have complained about a few imports over the years which were not of the lucky kind. But thinking of our laws regulating the breeding standards you might foresee how disappointing it can be if buyer (and seller) don‘t know about this or simply ignore it. Just think of all the other breeds of gaited horses, which try to attract the same buyer. The best promotion for the Paso horse is a good Paso.

Every Paso who makes the journey across the ocean should speak for the breeder, the trainer and the country he comes from, should prove the breeds qualities, and be good advertising and promotion.

Dream on, you might think, but looking at the answers to my e-mail it seems that many aficionados in different countries have the very same intentions, hopes and goals as we do. Horsepeople, experienced, integer and honest. Let them be the mentors to all those who are going to join and discover the exciting world of the Pasos.

The German Pasopferde -Verband is just a click away. Visit us at :



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