North Atlantic Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino Organization Inc.

Featured Horse


This two articles are taken from the original by Lillian P. McGee.  There are a lot more stories about Boleros’ life than space permitted us to print at this time.   Thanks to Charles and Paula Cale for sharing this wonderful article.


Article 1

It has been said of Bolero LaCe, like the gentleman he was, he never put a foot down the wrong way.  He was the Paso Fino foundation sire of nobility from the island of Puerto Rico, a son of the exquisite black Island Champion mare Morena, and the majestic sire, Volare.  He matured to fourteen hands, his color was black, and his elegant gait of fate, was most definitely “fino”.  

He belonged to “Cunda”  Figueroa.  His son, Cese, showed

Bolero extensively in Puerto Rico, as did his father.  “I showed Bolero in Bella Forma and Saddle Fino. He was a natural; probably the most true gaited horse I had or have ever ridden.”  Figueroa is of the ‘old and pure school’ of Paso Finos, when foals “ALWAYS”  demonstrated ‘the gait’ running loose with their dams.  The ones that are honest or true gaited are born with it.”

The incredibly strong and bold Bolero was destined for fame and to be shared with world, as he defied the greatest of odds.  After severely foundering, he was brought to the United States in 1968, by George LaHood Jr.   It was not thought possible to show Bolero in the United States due to the severity of his condition, as a result of founder.  Not only had Bolero lost his mane and tail after foundering in Puerto Rico, but he lost all four hooves.

What is perhaps, even more miraculous than his survival itself, is that Bolero was in a sling and had not been on his feet for approximately four months prior to coming to the States.

Cese Figueroa came with Bolero, to work for LaHood, and together, they worked intensively and relentlessly and about 18 months later, this seemingly worthless horse was back in the showring!

There are about 70 offspring registered with PFHA and many are championship horses with names almost as well known as their fathers’.  Bolero stood as herd sire at a number of farms, and was with Paula and Charles Cale, and his loving caretakers, Arlene and Vincent LaVertu, for his final years.

Mar de Plata and Bolero LaCE have the distinction of having registration numbers ONE and TWO, in the PFHA registry, meaning they were the first two registered Paso Finos.


Article 2

BOLERO LaCE – one of the six foundation sires of the Paso Fino Horse breed.  This magnificent black stallion  was born in Puerto Rico, was owned and shown by the Figueroa family.  He was imported to the mainland in 1968.  He was the only foundation sire to have his dam and sire also imported to the States.

The main purpose in bringing Bolero to the States, was to use him as a breeding stallion.  He had been terribly foundered prior to leaving Puerto Rico,  but made an unbelievable recovery and returned to the show ring in 1969,  and became the National Champion Classic Fino and National Champion Conformation Paso Fino.  There were no National Grand Championship shows in those early days.

In 1970, Bolero was being shown in long lines (Bella Forma) down the center of the ring before a Washington International Horse Show audience of 10,000 and without the slightest bit of warning, he leaped into the air, kicking both feet straight out behind him, in a perfect Lippizans’ capriole.  He never missed a step of gait, nor did his poker-faced handlers!

The audience thought it was part of the act and applauded resoundingly.

He was herd sire for several large farms and lived his final happy and productive years at LaV’s Pinewood Paso Fino Farm in Mississippi.  He was owned by Charles and Paula Cale, but his true master was Vincent LaVertu.

In 1988, the Cales were approached about Bolero’s induction into the Hall of Fame in Puerto rico.  He received the Merit of Honor, and the induction into the Hall of Fame, along with three other horses from the United States.  Later that year, he was designated as a foundation sire of the Paso Fino Horse Association AND the Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino Federation of America, Inc.

Dr. Marilyn Todd Daniels, renowned equine artist, contacted the Cales in 1988 for permission to photograph Bolero for a foundation sire painting.

Upon completion of the group of foundation sire paintings, they were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C..

During his last days of life, Boleros’ gallant heart would not let him give in to his failing and aged body.  He was put to rest on December 26, 1991

Bolero is sadly missed by those who loved and cared for him (and those who have been blessed with his bloodline in their barn). His individual excellence and influence on the American Paso Fino breed has been unsurpassed, living on through his progeny.

This article is an abbreviated version of a collaboration of Charles and Paula Cale, and, Arlene LaVertu and Bonnie Cannon.  Our thanks to all of them.