Modern Bloodlines
of the Peruvian Paso Horse

Edited from the article originally written twenty years ago (1977) by noted historian, Mr. Verne Albright, and reprinted from Peruvian Horse World Magazine.
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It has always been difficult to trace Peruvian Paso Bloodlines. This is due basically to the fact that the keeping of the official stud book in Peru is only a recent activity. Until modern times there were very few serious breeders all of whom were in almost constant contact with one another. The keeping of a stud book seemed like a superfluous activity. Prior to the establishment of the official stud book in Peru, which took place only a decade ago, some bloodlines were recorded in private stud books operated by breeders, The private Stud Books were remarkable in their accuracy. Indeed, there was little motive for falsification. Until the last decade there has been little commercialization of the Peruvian horse, and horses were loaned or given away or sold for token sums. In addition, the Peruvian breeders, by and large, have been gentlemen who believe in the ethical code which is common to gentlemen everywhere in the world.

An example of the dedication with which these private stud books were maintained is the hacienda Casa Grande, owned by the Gildemeister family, which had records of its pedigrees going all the way back to 1901 sand which - realizing the importance of a stud book - was the first to register in the official stud book of the Asociacion Nacional de Criadores y Propietarios de Caballo Peruanos de Paso when it was opened under the administration of the Universidad Agraria La Molina.

Many bloodlines were passed by word of mouth, never being systematically recorded on paper. Most of these verbal pedigrees are the subject of universal agreement among modern breeders. But - as might be expected - some are open to dispute.

A further complication to the tracing of bloodlines is the fact that there are many cases of both double and duplicate names. A certain number of very important foundation breeding animals have more than one name. Many times a horses had a "given name" as well as another name which would usually be based on the hacienda, region or breeder where he originated. For example, the great Centella (mother of *Piloto and *Laurel) was sometimes referred to as Alazana San Javier , referring to her color, alazan (chestnut), and her origin, the Hda. San Javier near Ica. In addition there was no limit to the number of times that a name could be used (there being no stud book committee in charge of approving names) and very often the name was given to two or more horses. Federico de la Torre Ugarte's famous Hda. Palomino produced two different stallions which became known as "Palomino". Both of these stallions had a great influence on the bloodlines in Northern Peru, and - incidentally - neither was palomino in color, one being a roan and the other a chestnut.

Indeed there are some names which have been used as many as two dozen times or more.
The following article is based upon several sources. The primary sources were conversations with some of the leading bloodline experts in Peru, such as Fernando Ceruti, Jose "Pepe" Musante, Jose Antonio Otero, Carlos Gonzales, and Rodolfo "Fito" Matellini.

However, the event that did most to make this article possible was the issuing of the new stud book of the American Association of Owners and Breeders of Peruvian Paso Horses. This stud book is about four times as large as any previous Peruvian Paso Stud Book ever issued anywhere in the world.It has been the product of one of the most intensive updating processes ever attempted by a major breed registry. More than 300 pieces of documentation were added to the AAOBPPH files. On top of this, the entire Peruvian stud book (as compiled by the Universidad Agraria La Molina) was published for the first time... as an index section in the AAOBPPH Stud book.

The study of bloodlines is exceedingly important to breeders of Peruvian Paso horses. Even more than is the case in other breeds, the truly excellent horses in this breed nearly always descend from other truly excellent horses. This is not to deny the obvious fact that superior horses so not always produce superior offspring.....i.e. all offspring of a great stallion of mare will not be great, and some might even be highly inferior. Rather this means to say that great horses do not often appear out of nowhere. There is almost always a great bloodline behind them. The grand quality of the modern Peruvian breed comes in an unbroken chain from the great horses of the past. The best of modern bloodlines trace back to the best of the old bloodlines, even though the breed has changed and improved over the years. the most notable exception to this rule was of course, the incomparable Sol de Oro (V), a horse of unknown origins who was to improve the Peruvian breed as no other sire has ever improved a breed.

As the reader will notice, there has been a great deal of line breeding practiced in the breeding of Peruvian horses. Peruvian horse breeders can be divided into two basic categories, the "seed breeders" and the "hybrid breeders". Breeders in Peru call a horse a hybrid if he is the result of a cross between two completely unrelated bloodlines. Hybrid breeders often produce great individuals, but they are not so successful at producing great breeding animals since a hybrid carries a mixture of very different genes. The seed breeders usually employ line breeding and even inbreeding. they breed members - even closely related members - of a family to one another, thereby concentrating very similar genes in the offspring so that superior breeding animals are more likely to result. In some branches of the Peruvian breed, the seed breeders have been remarkably successful in producing superior show animals as well as superior breeding animals.

The inbreeding coefficient in Peruvian horses must be extremely high since only a few foundation horses within the last half century stand behind practically every modern show winner. Most of the great modern show winners have come from crossing two different lines, each of which has been line bred to some degree. The most successful crosses have been "Northern" horses with "Southern" horses. The cross of Southern blood and Northern blood has produced the majority of the great show horses of the past decade and a half. The crossing of two Southern horses has been the source of the second greatest number of exceptional horses during recent years. Horses from the Lima area have had an excellent potential for crossing with Northern and /or Southern bloods, and many fine horses have come from a cross with Lima blood. of the three major bloodlines - North, South, and Lima - only the Southern blood can be reliably counted upon to stand without outside influence in the crucible of show ring competition. Northern and Lima blood are most useful when crossed, especially with Southern blood. Of course, the North, South and Lima have each had an important influence on the other during this century, but each region developed its own type of horse...just as each individual breeder developed his own sub-type of horse. Horses from each of the three major regions are remarkably similar to most other horses from the same region and are quite different from horses of the other regions.

The following article is intended as a skeleton which can be fleshed out with the aid of the AAOBPPH Stud book. As much as possible, registration numbers are shown in this article to help researchers. The names of the horses which have been imported into the United States and the AAOBPPH are preceded by an asterisk(*) and followed by the AAOBPPH registration number. The names of horses registered only in Peru are followed by the word "Peru" and the Peruvian registration number. In the stud book s maintained by La Molina,stallions were registered in numerical order starting with the number 1 and mares were registered in numerical order beginning with the number 101. This means that , from number 101 up, there are two horses with the same number - one stallion and one mare - with nothing in the registration number to identify the sex of the animal. Therefore, this article will contain a S(stallion), an M(mare), or G(gelding) after the Peruvian registration number even though there is no such alphabetical identification in the actual Peruvian registration number.

For the sake of convenience, we shall deal with the basic bloodlines as they developed in each major region of the country. Since the horses in the North were by far the most numerous we will begin there.

 Go directly to Northern Bloodlines  Go directly to Lima Bloodlines  Go directly to Southern Bloodlines