DOUBLE FOUNDATION SIRE
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
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”.
belonged to “Cunda” Figueroa.
His son, Cese, showed
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
‘the gait’ running loose with their dams.
The ones that are honest or true gaited are born with
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.
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.
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!
are about 70 offspring registered with PFHA and many are
championship horses with names almost as well known as their
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
audience thought it was part of the act and applauded
was herd sire for several large farms and lived his final happy
and productive years at LaV’s Pinewood Paso Fino Farm in
He was owned by Charles and Paula Cale, but his true
master was Vincent LaVertu.
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
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.
Marilyn Todd Daniels, renowned equine artist, contacted the
Cales in 1988 for permission to photograph Bolero for a
foundation sire painting.
completion of the group of foundation sire paintings, they were
exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C..
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
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.
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.