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@2001 Jennie Williams
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The Reclamation of An Incredible Horse

By Jennie Williams

March 1999

      Surviving almost extinction, the Georgia region has had its ups and downs in the past months since September 98. This past weekend represented a small symbol of the rebirth of our region. One of our very first new members since the renovation, Kelley Ivie Boyd showed in her first Paso Fino show with her Classic Fino gelding, Hatuey. Kelley and her husband Garrett, are both new Paso Fino owners, having purchased their two geldings last year, just as the association was taking a nosedive. Not only are the Boyds new to the show ring, they are new to the Paso breed. It was a big step for them to jump into our breed wholeheartedly, and embrace it as they have done.

       In April of 1998, Gene Williams found Hatuey neglected and malnourished in a pasture in Florida, living with a herd of quarter horses. He was sold to Gene as a laid back trail horse without a lot of potential, just slow, lazy, and skinny. Underneath the long feet, and the protruding ribs and hip bones, Gene recognized a spark of enthusiasm that is hard to kill in our breed. So he imported this tall gray gelding to Georgia, where he was groomed, vetted, trimmed, shod, and fed. With every pound the horse gained, there was more life, more sparkle in the eye. One evening, Gene took Hatuey to the big arena down the road, turned on the lights, and rode him into the spotlight. Only a few people were there to see the wondrous transformation of a horse reborn. When Hatuey saw the lights, the white rails of the arena, and the expanse of graded show ring, he tucked his chin, collected his rear end and finoed around the railing. It was truly awe-inspiring! Hatuey, the trail horse, was doing what he loved to do paso fino! It brought tears to the eye, this majestic horse with bones protruding, unclipped, ragged mane, arching that neck so proudly showing the world what he was born to do.

      Kelley and Garrett closed their eyes, opened their pocketbooks, and jumped wholeheartedly into the reclamation of an extraordinary horse. With the help of Cindy Griffeth, a local trainer and judge, Hatuey and Kelley embarked on an adventure that culminated in the Perry, Georgia show this past weekend. Kelley and Hatuey came away with four blue ribbons, to the immense pleasure of Garrett, her husband and partner in this undertaking. Hatuey has fulfilled the promise that was offered them. By taking a chance, Kelley now has a horse that will corto and largo on any trail, through any obstacle, for any distance, on request, who will also step into the Classic Fino show ring and strut his stuff. Kelley and Hatuey are a team who can go anywhere, do anything, and enjoy the partnership they have fostered.

       To all of the new members of the Georgia region, we say welcome. We need your new hope, your new ideas, and your fresh outlook. Kelley and Hatuey are true examples to us all that anything is possible.