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|For many, many years Lima, "The
City of Kings", was the most important city not only in
Peru but in all of South America. It was the doorway through
which the horse entered much of western South America. Once the
conquest was complete and Peru became the center of the Spanish
Empire in South America, important personages from Spain's public
and private sector began to arrive in Lima to take up new posts
or take on new challenges. These men brought with them some of
the best bloodstock in Spain, quickly establishing Peru as the
most important horse breeding center in The New World.
From Peru the horses spread in other South American nations along the Pacific Coast. The first horses in Chile were taken there from Lima in 1541 by d on Pedro de Valdivi. In 1557 more horses were taken to Chile from Peru by 22 year old don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, a descent of a very distinguished family and the son of the ''Marquez'' of Canete, who was at that time Viceroy of Peru. On this trip for the purpose of taking control of Chile, at that time a colony of Peru, d on Garcia was accompanied by 150 riders and 42 horses for his personal use. Many of these horses had come to Peru directly from Spain.
From Peru the first horses were taken to Argentina by Pedro de Mendoza in 1553 and also to Ecuador by Francisco de Orellana in 1556. Subsequent arrivals of horses from Peru took place in all of these countries; and later shipments arrived in most of them directly from Spain as well as from the breeding farms set up by the Spanish on certain Caribbean islands.
Having been a city with a rich tradition of fine horses and excellent horsemanship, Lima became famous throughout the world for the quality of her horses and horsemen during the colonial period and even more so after the War of Independence which resulted in the Spanish colony of Peru becoming an independent Republic in 1824. Unfortunately, the Peruvians, themselves, did not record much information about their horses. However, most of the important travelers of the nineteenth century visited Lima, and many of them were so impressed with the horses they saw there that they mentioned and described them in their writings. From these writings by foreigners, we get our only glimpse of the horse in Lima prior to the current century and it is fascinating that these detailed descriptions indicate in a most convincing manner that the Peruvian Paso horse has been almost exactly as he is now for a minimum of three hundred years.
A mid-nineteenth century author, Angel Cabrera, an Argentina zoologist and paleontologist, makes mention of Peru's horses in his book Caballoso de America. In his work, Cabrera quotes from studies done in and around Lima by Antonio de Ulloa, a Spanish. These quotes detail the characteristics of the breed with a rather good description of its gait, size and brio. There is a fascinating account of the change between the rather plain appearance of a Peruvian Paso horse standing in a corral and the spectacular improvement when the horse was ridden. Ulloa quotes his sources as having written that this breed of horse made Peru famous as a producer of excellent horses and also speaks of their endurance and of famous long marches made on them especially during times of war.
In his Testimonio del Peru, written by the famed Swiss traveller Tschudi in the early nineteenth century, there are several references to the Peruvian Paso horse, which Tschudi regarded as the most beautiful descendant of the Andalusian. Tschudi's description of Peru's horses of that time could easily serve as a guide to a modern day horseman who wishes to know the important present-day characteristics of the Peruvian Paso breed. Tschudi, who was obviously every bit as observant as his reputation indicates, wrote in minute detail of the characteristics of the movement of the Peruvian horse including such fine details as overstep. He also describes the temperament and ease of handling, the size and conformation and the somewhat surprising fact that the gait, more than beauty, determined the value of these horses.
In Practica Observado En Lima, a booklet written in 1831 and published in 1873, the author Pedro de Zavala, the Marquez of Valleumbroso, speaks at great length of the Peruvian Paso horse and refutes a theory common among the world's horsemen at that time. It was accepted dogma throughout the world in the mid-eighteenth century that gaited horses did their gaits because they were not strong enough to do the trot which was believed to require more strength and effort. Pedro de Zavala points out in his writings that when gaited horses tire or encounter difficult going, most of them will slip closer to a trot or even into a trot while trotting breeds when they tire or get into difficult going do not slip into a pace, which would indicate convincingly that the gaited horses are not doing a gait which is easier to do than the trot .
Paso horses have long been very much appreciated in Lima where the residents speak of "paso horses" and "ordinary horses" (all others). But even though the Peruvian Paso horse had a long and important record of service in Lima, by the early 1920's the advent of the Machine Age had greatly diminished the need for them. In 1923, the city o Lima prohibited the use of horses in Lima due to the surfacing of the streets with asphalt, and the breeding, and interest in horses practically disappeared. Horses were given away or sold for as little as two or three dollars. It seemed that horses would soon become a thing of the past. This same situation existed throughout most of the world. The author of this article can remember some very interesting conversations with Robert M. Miller, a prominent California veterinarian. Dr. Miller remembers that when he was studying veterinary medicine in the 1930's, he did so against the advice of his friends and relatives. They believed that there would soon be few or no horses left upon which he would be able to practice his craft. Dr. Miller, himself, saw the same future, and he fully expected that he would have to change his profession in the not too distant future. What almost no one had anticipated was the breeding and riding of horses as a leisure time activity. When the era of the horse as a hobby, rather than a working tool began, the breeding of horses enjoyed an unbelievable comeback, to such a degree that there are more horses in the United States now than there were in the days of the wild, wild west . But at one time the horse came perilously close to dying out.
Around Lima, a rather small group of dedicated horsemen preserved the best bloodlines of the area during those lean years so that they would he available for the coming rebirth of horse breeding. Despite the general trend these people continued to breed and appreciate fine horses. The better known of these men were Mario Canepa of the Hacienda de Puente, Dr. Hugo Magill of the Hacienda Nana, Pio DeIgado, Carlos Ravina, Jose Antonio Dapelo, Sr, Ernesto Nicolini, don Manuel del Solar of the Hacienda Vasquez, who had a very well-known line of grey horses and was considered by many the breeder of the finest horses of his time, and the famous Hacienda Pando.
The most famous, by far, of the paso horse breeders in Lima during the first part of the twentieth century was the Hacienda Pando. Pando was located near the Hacienda Marangu between Magdalena and Callao. The owner was a man named Jose Riva-Aguero, a well-known Peruvian author, politician and intellectual. Riva-Aguero was not married, and in the absence of family he left his lands to the Catholic Church upon his death. Today the Catholic University stands on the 300 hectares that were once Pando.
It was not Riva-Aguero who made Pando famous as a breeding farm for paso horses, however. He rented Pando to a company known as Agricola y Ganadera El Progreso, owned by Jose Antonio LaValle, the inspiration for and subject of the famous song "Jose Antonio" dedicated to him by its author Chabuca Granda; Juan Bautista LaValle a judge of the Peruvian Supreme Court; and the Migone brothers Eugenio, Alfredo, Manuel and Victorio. The most dedicated horse lovers among Pando's renters were the Migone brothers and the most dedicated of them was Alfredo. They provided the push that made Pando famous as a breeder of truly outstanding horses. Pando assembled its basic bloodstock from a number of sources. The most important influence in the eventual establishment of a typical Pando type horse seems to have been the breeding stock they acquired from the Hacienda Galpon.
Galpon was located in the Pativilca Valley north of Lima. The owners were the Zuloaga family, and they had produced their own distinct line of horses.Calpon horses were not particularly spectacular, but they were well regarded as working animals owing to their smooth, deeply bred in gaits. There was a strong Calpon influence on the breeding program of Jose "Pepe" Musante, Sr. through a number of Pando horses such as Rubi, Senorita, Revolucion, Granadero, and Percal, which he acquired when beginning his breeding program.
Pando also made important acquisitions from the Hacienda Chacra Rios, which bordered Pando on the north side. Chacra Rios had a line of horses which was notable for the profusion of chestnuts, a rare color in those days. The common colors of the time were all types of roans and greys and a color known as almendrado (Iiterally "almond like") which in english is called "overo". The almendrado coloration was a mixture of either bay or chestnut hairs with white hairs. These horses generally had white points, bald faces and white body spots, often large. They had individual white hairs scattered liberally throughout the body and differed from classical pintos mainly in the fact that the body spots were not well defined.
Pando also bought some of its breeding stock from the Hacienda Santa Cruz located in the present day San Isidro district of Lima. Santa Cruz had a line of palomino colored horses. Another palomino horse which became prominent in the Pando and later the Musante breeding programs was the stallion Pancho Fierro. Pancho Fierro was born on the Hacienda Lobaton, also located in the present day San Isidro district and owned by Roberto Risso, the father of Jose and Raul. The horse was sold and subsequently "discovered" while pulling a cart for a Chinese bread peddler. It was Jose Antonio LaValle who noticed Pancho Fierro while the horse was in the rather undistinguished position of pulling a wagon load of bakery products. La Valle so admired him that he purchased the horse and had him retrained to the saddle by the well-known master reinsman "Juanito" Orbegoso. Poncho Fierro was bred to many of the Pando mares and was also a successful show horse who became champion at the show held on the Pampa de Amancaes.
Another important Pando acquisition was the purchase of a stallion named Dictador from Dr. Hugo Magill, the owner of the Hacienda Nana, located along the road from Lima to Chosica. That stallion had been purchased by Dr. Magill in Trujillo and was probably related to the horses of the same name owned by the Pinillos family.
Two of the earliest modern breeders in the Lima area were Carlos Parodi and Jose "Pep" Musante. Both of these men began their breeding operations at about the same time. Parodi's Hda. Santa Rosita and Musante's Hda. Granados were located in the same general area, and the two men formed a lifelong friendship which led them to frequently seek the other's opinion and to loan stallions and mares back and forth.
Musante began to formal his broodband in 1935 with horses acquired from the Hda. Pando and from Manuel del Solar of the Hacienda Vasquez. Later he made other acquisitions, and with the years he created a line of horses which was so distinctive and prepotent that their descendants are easily recognized, sometimes even after several generations of outcrosses. In the early years of his breeding program, don"Pepe's" mares would foal at Granados and then be sent at the time of their foal heat to Pando for rebreeding. The exceptional thing about this was that the mare and her newly born foal would be led - not trailered - the twenty kilometers to Pando in the early morning. Upon arrival at Pando, the mare would be bred to the chosen stallion, would rest for a time, and after a second breeding to the same stallion would then be Ied the 20 kilometers back to Grandados. This would be the only breeding during the heat period, yet the percentage of pregnancies was quite high. The forty kilometers in one day for the mares and their newly born foals was not considered by .anyone to be a notable achievement, and neither mares nor foals suffered any unhappy consequences as a result.
One of the most famous of the traditional, annual celebrations held in or around Lima was the Fiesta de San Juan de Amancaes. For some thirteen decades this annual fiesta was held in honor of Saint John the Baptist. It was held on the Pampa de Amancaes and timed to coincide with the blooming of the yellow amanecae flowers on the hills around Lima. Elaborate equine exhibitions and parades had always been a part of this celebration, and with the passage of time these exhibitions and parades became competitions which little by little became more formal. These competitions only seldom involved competitors from outside the Lima area.
At one point there was a general livestock exposition held annually at the old camal (slaughter house), which then stood on the site of the present day Plaza Union. This exposition included a few classes for Peruvian Paso horses, and it was tied loosely into the general Pampa de Amancaes celebration.
By 1934 the horse competitions were moved into Lima's Plaza de Acho, the oldest bullring in the western hemisphere. That year Carlos Luna de la Fuente was one of the five judges.Luna remembers that he met Ernesto "Tito" Carozzi for the first time at that competition. According to Luna, the judging was quite different in those days from what it is now. For one thing, in sharp contrast to the present day, the horses's training rather than its heredity was the most important single consideration. Also classes were not divided by age and sex as they are now, and Luna relates that the legendary stallion, Limenito, in bozal competed with the well known Musante mare, La Coqueta in bit at that same 1934 show.
During those years the actual competition and judging took place in the Plaza de Acho. Afterwards the contestants were dismissed, without knowing the results. A few days later, on the 4th of June, all would gather again for the announcement and awarding of the prizes during a public ceremony on the Pampa de Amancaes. The great open expanses of land that once composed and surrounded the Pampa de Amancaes are now occupied by barriadas, which are the shanty town suburbs of present day Lima. The barriadas sprang up at the time of the second World War when many of Peru's peasants, lured by the promise of a better life in Lima, flocked there from the provinces and the sierra.
During the approximately five years that the show was held in the Plaza de Acho, it was sponsored by the Municipality of Rimac. In about 1940, the municipality stopped financing the show and there were no further significant competitions until 1945 when at the suggestion of the Lima breeders, the Club Hipico sponsored the first annual Peruvian National Championship Show at the Club Hipico facility on Lima's Avenida Salaverry. In that show for the first time classes were logically divided by age and sex, and for that reason this show marked the first truly meaningful competition for paso horses that had ever been held on a national level in Peru. Two years later, the breeders of paso horses throughout Peru formed their own organization, the ANCPCPP (Asociacion Nacional de Criadores y Propietarios de Caballos Peruanos de Paso) and that organization began to administer the show beginning in 1947.
One other powerful factor combined with the coming of formalized shows to greatly improve the Peruvian breed. That second factor was the friendship among the owners. In those days when horses could be sold for very small sums if at all, the blood of any one breeder did not cost his friends anything to acquire. Stud fees were not charged, and stallions were freely loaned. Breeders frequently gave horses to one another as gifts. Even prized mares were often loaned to a friend before breeding so that the friend could select a stallion and take a foal from the mare before returning her to her owner. This last custom was known as ''regular un Vientre" ( "to make a gift of a womb"). All of these customs have become much less common during the last decade owing to the fact that there now is a market for Peruvian horses. But in their day, these customs had great importance and made a significant contribution to the Peruvian breed. Fernando Peschiera said it very well when he said, "The admirers of the Peruvian horse form a great family. Whosoever does not fit into this family should not become involved with the breed."
As their friendship drew the Lima breeders closer together, it began to affect the breed in important ways. People who had once formed their ideas about horses in a vacuum, by themselves, now began to share and compare ideas. A common language and vocabulary came into being. A breed standard was slowly and painfully established. This replaced a virtual anarchy of criteria with a commonly agreed upon ideal. Such independent men could hardly be expected to agree one hundred percent on every single detail, of course. But where each one had been going in whatever direction he pleased in the past, they now began to all have a common goal which each breeder would approach from the direction he thought best.
There were two important gathering places where ideas and friendships were formed and allowed to develop. The first of these was at the Hacienda Puente owned by Mario Canepa. The Hacienda Puente was located along the main highway between Lima and Chosica not far from Carlos Parodi's Hacienda Santa Rosito. Canepa brought his basic bloodstock to Puente from the Hacienda Mata Lechuza which was located where the Club Hipico now stands on Lima's Avenida Salaverry and which he once owned. He crossed Mata Lechuza horses with horses he acquired from the Haciendas Pando and Nana. His good friend, Jose "Pepe" Musante, Sr., gave him the well known stallion Dictador (Eclipse x Percal) as a gift, and crossing Dictador with his mares, Canepa produced Gitana, the 1958 National Champion Mare, and many other offspring. Mario also freely gave gift breedings to Dictador such as the breeding he gave Fernando Grana for his Jorge Juan Pinillos mare Agua Marina, which produced the stallion Rubi .
But his main contribution to the breed was not as a breeder. He was an accomplished rider and trainer and willingly taught these arts to members of the next generation, such as Javier LaRosa and others of his friends' children. In addition, Canepa's Hacienda Puente became the meeting spot for a group of Lima breeders and aficionados. Between the late 40's and the mid-60's, every Thursday and Sunday afternoon would see a gathering of men such as Mario Canepa, Carlos Parodi, Oswaldo Llorens, Manuel Barnechea, Jose "Pepe" Risso, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose "Pepe" Musante, Sr., and at times Fernando Fernandini and Carlos Luna de la Fuente. On the final day of each year this same group would gather at "Pepe" Musante's Hacienda Granados not far from the present day site of the Universidad AgrariaLa Molina to welcome the New Year. The close companionship among the Lima breeders continues until this day.
The custom of meeting twice weekly at Puente started spontaneously and continued until Mario died. The exchange of information and ideas which took place among these men formed an important part of the stimulation for their twice-a-week attendance. Sometimes the group had the good fortune of a visit from don Luis de Ascasubi, when he was in town. Those who used to gather there still describe the afternoons and the conversations as unforgettable, and the friendship that grew up among these men had a great effect on the rebirth of horse breeding in the Lima area as well as its subsequent evolution.
The second of Lima's early gathering places for owners and breeders was an agricultural supply shop which was named La Agricola and which was located on Lima's Avenida 28 de Julio. The shop's owner was Carlos Luna de la Fuente who was the first in Lima to sell modern veterinary and agricultural supplies as well as other related products. In those days, the Avenida 28 de Julio was the main route between Lima and the Rimac Valley and, further on, Chosica. Lima's horse breeders would frequently shop there, and they also stopped in to see Carlos Luna when ever they happened to be passing by.
An incredible number of people who were to become important in the breed and in the ANCPCPP first met one another at La Agricolla. Later, as the group grew, they began to meet there informally but regularly, and when the ANCPCPP was officially formed, La Agricola was its first headquarters.
There were many, many Lima area residents who became extremely important to the Peruvian breed in those days. In addition to those referred to elsewhere in this series of articles, great credit must be given to Alec Zarak, Jaime Arranda, Rafael Puga, and Santiago Gerbolini. After all is said and done, the credit for a breed's progress belongs to men who breed them, and the two giants among Lima's breeders through the 1940's and 1950's were Carlos Parodi and Jose "Pepe Musante, Sr. It is very fitting to quote the words of don Fernando Peschiera about each of these men. Of Parodi, he said, "He was a magnificent friend and a man of an incomparable 'straightness'. I competed with him many times in many shows, and many times he beat me. He knew much about horses because he had spent so much time working on horseback. Our friendship was such that we referred to one another as Paisano even though we were from different regions. We were paisanos because we had the same ideas. To really know some thing well, one must be able to do that thing with his own hands. Parodi could. I remember visiting him often at his Hda. Santa Rosita, and those visits have given me some of my best memories."
Peschiera's words about "Pepe" Musante echo the thoughts of practically everyone who knows or has ever known this genius, "I consider that one of the most knowledgeable Peruvian horse breeders who ever lived is Jose Musante Hurtado with whom I have the strongest possible ties of true and lasting friendship."
Interestingly enough, both Parodi and Musante have sons who are following in their paths as aficionados. Both Carlos, Jr. and Marcos Parodi are deeply involved in every phase of Peruvian horses including breeding. Marcos has recently begun doing some judging in both Peru and the United States. "Pepe" Musante, Jr. has become one of the most active and popular judges in the United States. In the case of the current generation of Parodi's and Musante's, their abilities as judges are undoubtedly based upon the fact that they have spent their lifetimes around friends and members of their families who were among the most knowledgeable people in the breed.
|This third edition has been expanded to 432 pages. Information has been added on Bloodlines, training, famous horses and famous personalities in the breed. It contains a complete list (including 1993) of Champions and Champion of Champions at the National Shows in the U.S. & Peru. A beautiful 8 1/2 x 11" collector's quality book containing many outstanding color photographs.This classic book has been unavailable ever since the second edition sold out over a decade ago! ·Perfect for gift-giving - sure to become a collector's item!||
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"The Peruvian Paso and His Classic Equitation"!
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Last Updated October 02, 2008