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1978 - Dam of Puerto Rican Champions

Maria was a 26 year old white mare when I was first introduced to her. She was not very big in size. One ride on her, however, made me aware that no great height or size was needed. Riding her also convinced me that no other breed could match her heart or smoothness. Her gait was flawless. It was God-made, not man-made. She was first out and first in on a trail ride from 9:30 am until 1:30 am the next day. "Maria had an incredible natural soft gentle gait and made a great contribution to the Paso Fino Horse World" stated Rosalie Mc Williams, a well-known former judge and first registrar of PFOBA, as recently as 2-29-00. She also stated she will never forget Maria Luisa's intelligence.

Maria's age could only be recognized by the wrinkles in her face. She was really snow white in color, but would be called cremello today. No one knew the grey that would ordinarily be showing. She asked no rider to ever allow for her age even at 28 years old when she carried a little girl 10 miles on a "Ride for Research" in Lutz , Fl. in 1978. Her heart was not only good in stamina ,but also in her care for her riders whether young or old.

There are many stories about how she took care of her riders. One time the little 7 year old girl riding Maria looked over to another rider and spread her arms out wide and said, "Look , Maria knows her "indructions". No hands!" Maria enjoyed her rides. She would watch the airplanes up above or look for things along the path such as butterflies, birds, etc. Rosalie also shared a comment made by Jan Cook, a former owner, when one of her daughters was overdue on a trail ride. She said, "I wouldn't worry about Candy if she was on Maria." 

The qualities of the little mare, Maria Luisa, made all other breeds seem less desirable compared to her. She was so smooth one could ride her all day without pain anywhere. She needed only to know what her rider wanted her to do. When a rider of many other breeds experienced her ride, they would know that whatever breed she was, hers was the breed to be desired over all others.

Maria Luisa was special, one knew!. She not only became special to her many riders, she produced sons that made her well known in the Paso Fino horse world. 

When she foaled Sombre LaCE, Sombre was known for the golden palomino stallion that he was. In later years, it became evident that he passed his dam, Maria Luisa, through his daughters. Many became Dams of the Year or produced Grand National Champions. Sombrilla Z, a daughter of Sombre became the #2 Dam of the Year in 1984 and 1985. Her owner stated National awards earned by her sons and daughters were too numerous to mention. It is known that Sombre's daughter Dorado de Borascoso #764 produced Doradita de Cabildo #4666 that was a Grand National Champion in performance. 

Maria Luisa's son, Frio Viento # 1061, was a twice National Champion and Grand National Champion in fino. He sired 24 registered offspring. Two of his daughters carried his dam's gait right through to his daughters. They were Hija de Los Vientos and Otra de Vez. They both defeated previous Grand National Champions Soledad Que Tal and Rincona LaCE in the Florida State Championships. 

Maria Luisa's last son to win a championship was Camarad T. Butch Carty was told this gelding was a full brother to Frio and that he was flawless in gait, too. Butch 'convinced' Camarad T that the rider was supposed to remain in the saddle without help getting off. Camarad T went to Nationals in 1980 and won the National Champion Fino Geldings. Camarad also went on to win multiple other championships for the youth in classes such as equitation, etc. with Laura and Clint Roberts. The Roberts grandchildren later rode him in Lead Line classes. 

Maria had other foals for a total of 13 offspring. Corito and Novita were full brother and sister to Sombre LaCE. Novita #219 was a little sweetheart that was not respected very much as she was very small. She was 8 years old when she was discovered by me as a "diamond in the rough". All of the owners of her offspring, no matter who the sire was, loved and respected them for their accurate gait. Manero de Vez is a Reserve National champion in Pleasure. He is a son of Novita. Her daughters were loaned to people that rode 20 or more miles per day on the Osceola Wagon Train here in Fl. These riders had back braces, age, etc. but they could ride them all day. Corito # 6080 , was Novita's full brother and sired 28 offspring. Gait was always exceptional. Here again, no matter which dams he was bred to. 

Patron de Omega #536 was a golden buckskin son of Maria. He was the 1979 national champion in fino. He sired 13 Paso Finos. Tia Maria de Omega #1355 produced 4 Paso Finos and possibly more in past years.  

Maria Luisa had her last foal, Tia Maria, at 24 years old.

If I had the privilege of riding Maria Luisa, seeing her offspring winning nationals and grands, and riding her offspring one would vote to name her the Puerto Rican Dam of Champions. She was chosen as the Dam of Puerto Rican Champions in 1978. She was chosen only by her offsprings' titles. I wonder what her title would have been if they would have had the privilege of riding her. 
Maria Luisa's PFHA number was #2425 . She was born 1-1-52 and her death was recorded in 1982. She was imported from Puerto Rico in 1960 by Captain Ira Meeth. She was owned by Le Roy Thompson of Brandon, Fl, at the time of her death. 

Barbara Preiss

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