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HOLLYWOOD PASO FINOS made a dramatic appearance in the Old Spanish Days parade in Santa Barbara on Friday. In keeping with their goal of celebrating the Spanish heritage of the Paso Fino horse they wore beautiful costumes from the mid 1600s. The sound of their hoof beats, “tacatacataca,” got the crowds cheering as they cortoed by.

Martha Coolidge and Gerardo Mato

The group lead by film director Martha Coolidge (known for VALLEY GIRL, REAL GENIUS, THE PRINCE & ME and CSI) is sponsored by CPFHA, El Rancho de Cache, Rancho de Milagro and Rancho Fino and has performed in many parades before including three times in Santa Barbara and the Tournament of Roses Parade. They have given exhibitions at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse, The Night of the Horse and the Gold Cup. The group highlights the smooth riding Paso Fino horse and its history, descending from the first horses to arrive in the New World over 500 years ago with Columbus and the Conquistadors. This breed has been treasured and bred in the Americas for their beauty, temperament and smooth riding gaits. They became a foundation for many other American breeds including the Quarter horse, the Rocky Mountain horse and the Spanish Mustang.

The other women riders in the parade were Michelle McAlister, Madison and Melissa Bray and youth rider Maggie Kosich. The men were two veterans of the group Raul Matos and Gerardo Matos who are also the trainers of the beautiful National and Regional Champion horses featured in the parade. The exquisite costumes for the women were designed and built by Costume Designer Christina Wright. Global Effects, a movie prop rental house specializing in the middle ages, provided the men’s costumes. Besides parades the members of “Hollywood Paso Finos” perform musical acts with dance and stunts at horse shows, compete with their horses and enjoy trail riding. More about the group plus videos can be found at elranchodecache.com.

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