Peruvian El Paso in Coronado Equestrian Club

Mid January 2008, The Coronado Equestrain Club hosted an annual Peruvian Paso competition. Riders and owners of Peruvian horses from around Panama gathered to show off their horses ability to keep the Peruvian gait, called ‘Ambladura’, which is a synchronized gait of the fore and hind legs. The horse must keep 3 legs on the ground at all times. Peruvian horses are widely known through the world for their ability to keep a smooth gait for long periods of time.  For a Paso event, rider and horse are formally outfitted to compete.  The costume comprises the saddle and trimmings and the splendid outfit of the rider (white shirt and trousers, wide-brimmed straw hat, vicuña wool poncho, neck-kerchief, boots and spurs).


The Peruvian Paso is a notable for Panama, because the Peruvian Equestrian  Association here is a recognized extension of the original Association in Peru.  Named Asociación Panameňa de Criadoros y Propietarios de Calallos Peruanos de Paso (APCPCPP), the club hosts a number of Paso competitions throughout the year. Coronado’s event is an yearly affair. For more information about the Association, contact Olga Arosemena, who is the first ever woman Association president,  at

The judge for January’s event was  Roque Benavides, who runs Buenaventura, Peru's largest mining company, when he is not judging horses.  In judging a Paso event, the judge looks at the overall elegance, beauty and execution of the animal. The horse’s gait is judged based on the speed, smoothness and rhythm of the step, and finally how the horse responds to the demands of the rider. The horse must stay in a 3 step gaited walk for the duration of the event. El Paso has one judge. Horse and rider must impress the judge on various points in order to win. Any category can go unawarded if a worthy competitor does not present.

{mosimage} This El Paso was particularly notable for Coronado residents, because local resident, Ellen Gangle competed with her horse Gabriella. Ellen rode in the 6 – 8 year old mare category and placed 8th in the overall standings. Ellen and Gabriella trained together for 8 months before their debut here. “I’m very pleased to have even placed at all”, says Ellen. “We faced stiff competition. Many of the riders here are breeders who have many horses to choose from to bring to an event”. The day was also a showcase for fincas to present their horses to potential buyers.