Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RIP Jorge

It feels like the end of an era to me. I received the sad news over the weekend. My friend Jorge de Moya passed away.

His uncompromising search for excellence, his vast knowledge of the Paso Fino breed and thorough understanding of the mechanics of gaited horses became inspiration and guidance for me. We were both too stubborn and opinionated to agree on everything, but from spirited discussions came better understanding for me. I had the pleasure of working for Jorge and taking care of his OliVaylle horses for several years. We always remained friends even after our paths diverged. He was generous to a fault. He was in love with his horses and even when his riding years were over, he never lost his passion for them. Paso Finos were in his blood from his youth, being a native of Cuba. However, he was never breed blind, and was able to appreciate and admire a good horse of any breed or colour.

Many years ago, Jorge did some ground breaking research into the gaits of the Paso Fino, and produced a video called "What is my Gait?". Unfortunately, not many good copies of this remain. This video is the best I have seen to clear up some myths and misunderstandings about the four beat gait of Pasos (and other horses). It was the first time I heard the term "isochronal" in the context of gait. Yet, it perfectly describes the ideal we seek for in a gaited horse: an even-timed four beat gait. Neither lateral nor diagonal.

He was an accredited judge for Paso Finos and wrote several articles about the gaits. His particular passion were the Puerto Rican Paso Finos. I understand that he was instrumental in bringing Alicante to North America, and he, together with Betty Klein, bred Paso Fino horses with the famous "Mako" postfix for many years.

Jorge was the first person to bring Paso Finos to Australia. He bred horses under the "AuSome" prefix. Aside from Paso Finos, he had Peruvian Pasos, Andalusians and Australian Stockhorses. We were of a like mind when it came to mixing the blood of some of these breeds to produce superior gaited riding horses, and both OliVaylle and Narrawin went down that road.

Sadly, when Jorge became ill, the horses had to be sold. I was able to help place many of them. I also acquired some of his Paso Fino and Paso Creole horses, which are now integral part of our stud.

The last time I saw Jorge, we picked up a float full of his best horses. He was happy to see them go home with me, but I could see it was breaking his heart.

Rest in peace, Jorge.

I will promise I will keep taking Chewie out for rides while he's fit and well. While I can no longer tell you the funny stories about Chewie's adventures, I will certainly be thinking of you.

1 comment:

Rock 'n' Wood Ranch said...

My condolences to Jorges wife and family. I had the pleasure of receiving an email from him/them only a few weeks ago, how glad they were that Carmelita was in a good home. As it happens I spent this last weekend, riding her in the hills near Gympie. She is a 'gem'. RIP Jorge, and thanks Chris for this blog.