Tribute to Moira Judas Smith

Tennessee Valley Paso Fino Horse Association has lost a long time beloved member. Moira Smith passed away Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Vanderbilt Hospital. She leaves behind her husband, L. R. and daughter, Caroline.

Moira and her father were among founding members of the Tennessee Valley region. They were instrumental in writing our charter and bylaws. Mr. Judas brought some of the first Paso Finos into the United States from his service in Puerto Rico.

Moira was a very valuable member of Tennessee Valley as well as PFHA. She was a fierce competitor at regional and national levels. Ricky Mendoza was her trainer and Kay Chiappetta was her friend and mentor.

Moira will be missed by so many friends. Our love and prayers go to L. R. and Caroline.

Southern Equine Expo 2018

Southern Equine Expo 2018

TVPFHA will be participating again this year in the Southern Equine Expo and demonstrating horses on Saturday, February 24. During our exhibition our goal is to show that Pasos can do anything. TVPFHA will also have a booth throughout the Expo. In addition, attendees will also be able to watch demonstrations by one of our breed’s most publicly recognized trainers and last year’s Southern Equine Expo Colt Starting Champion Michael Gascon. If you and/or your farm are interested in either joining us for the demonstration or volunteering at our booth, please PM Lee Ann Williams-Maley.

Please let Lee Ann Williams-Maley know if you are interested as soon as possible.

Thank you,
Stella Hixson
President, TVPFHA

Fall Board/Membership Meeting

The TVPFHA Fall Board/Membership meeting will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the home of Stella and G.C. Hixson.

2322 Floraton Road
Readyville, TN  37149

Meeting Time:  11:30 – Lunch Provided


Old Business
Approval of the Spring/Summer TVPFHA Meeting Minutes
New Business
Committee Reports
Show Committee
Website Committee
Finance Committee
Sunshine Report
Recreation, Promotion and Events Committee
Other New Business and Properly Presented


Please let us know if you will attend the meeting, so that we may plan adequately for lunch.

Thank you,
Stella Hixson, President TVPFHA

A Star Is Born

All of us who have bred horses know and understand that not every foal will be destined for the Show Ring. Such was the case for the grey colt we named “Duende” which means “something extra special”. His grandsire was none other than Mar de Plata Lace and his dam had strong old bloodlines. However, Duende was “different” and a puzzle to understand. For the first year of his life he put me through challenges no other foal had or has since. He was difficult to handle and really preferred not to be handled. He made it an event to return to the barn at night with his mother and me, and trust in his people came slowly. At 2 ½ years old, we gave him to Ned Wilson who is an excellent trainer with young horses. Ned told us Duende was the most difficult horse he had ever trained to saddle. When his early training was complete, Duende came home. It was clear Duende was not a Show Horse. He worked fine on trail, but that did not excite him. He disliked the vet and farrier, and he was not attracted to most people. What was Duende’s purpose in life? At around age 3 1/2, the colt gave me an “aha” moment. I began to observe that Duende spent a lot of time leaning over the fence watching the mares and babies. He studied them and you could almost see his mind learning from the mares and assessing the babies. Duende had uncovered his talent and what made him indeed a special gelding. Over the years, Duende and I became special friends. He was my second in command, and I trusted him implicitly with babysitting our precious foals, guarding and protecting them and teaching them horse manners and good decision-making. Duende was firm but gentle and each foal in his care was an individual whose special needs he identified.

An example of his superior intelligence occurred one Sunday morning when I went to the barn for morning feeding. Duende had 7 colts and 1 filly in his care that year, ages 5-9 months. He always brought his little herd up to the fence close to the barn where all the feed buckets were lined up. Not this morning. He did not respond to my calls, so I got on the 4-wheeler to investigate. As I approached the end of the paddock close to the road, I saw a 16-foot top board on the ground. The foals could easily have jumped out of the paddock and into traffic. Duende had all 8 babies lined up in a row facing him like a drill sergeant in front of the downed fence. I was amazed. Not one foal moved until I had the board back in place and Duende gave the OK.

When Duende was well into his twenties and growing old, he trained another gelding that he selected to take over his job. El Jaleo, a 4th Grand National Champion Gelding, listened and learned well.

The day Duende was assisted to Heaven, he was quietly in the arena, with all the doors closed and his favorite people and cats surrounded him. The other horses could not see or hear, but they all knew. Duende had helped to raise every horse on the farm, and as he passed a hush came over the whole farm. All of the horses appeared depressed and went off their feed for several days. The grey colt who could not find himself had become a “Star”, and left his human and animal friends with a big hole in their hearts.


Joy Van Loon

Updated Website

As you may have already noticed, our website got a facelift!  We have completely reconstructed the website with a cleaner interface and friendlier mobile version for smartphones.

You may encounter some issues with the new website as we continue to finalize edits.  If you notice a problem, please send us an email with a detailed message to let us know.

We hope you enjoy the new look and we thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we continue developing our website to better suit you!