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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Burke to play for USA


-Burke on USA team

-Volleyball Schedule released

-Dirt Bowl rises from the dust

-Olympics around the corner

-Paso Fino: A different type of horse competition

(Sandy Walker brings us today's CARDINAL COUPLE. WE feel pretty lucky here at CARDINAL COUPLE to have writers who have knowledge on the entire realm of the sporting world. Sandy is one of those and we know you'll enjoy today's topics!) 

Becky Burke Named to USA Four Nations Invitational Squad

B.B. representing
She will be a member of the USA team that will play in the Four Nations Invitational, June 26 – July 11, starting in Yancheng, China.  The US squad will be playing three Olympic national teams from China, Russia and Great Britain who are preparing to playing the 2012 London Olympic Games.   This non-federation team is the first to participate in a FIBA Olympic tune-up event.  Team members also include Katie Bussey, Montana State; Dawn Evans, James Madison; Ashley Corrall, USC; Jence Rhoads, Vanderbilt; Brittany Carter, Memphis; Briana Gilbreath, USC; Amanda Johnson, Oregon; Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly; Cierra Bravard, Florida State; Becca Tobin, Arizona State; and Kali Bennett of Arizona State.  The China trip can be followed at


Volleyball Releases the 2012 Schedule for a new article about these years’ team and schedule. The biggest news is that most of the games will now be played at the YUM arena rather than the Cardinal area which fortunately was outgrown due to the growth of popularity and attendance. The complete schedule can be found at The first event will be an Alumnae Match set for Saturday August 18, 2012 at the Cardinal Arena at 6:00 with the first regular season match at the YUM Center scheduled for Friday August 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM.  See you there!

Cards ready to rock the BIG EAST again
Season tickets are now on sale with 15-match plans beginning at less than $6 per match for all the exciting action at the KFC Yum! Fans can purchase tickets online at  


Dust from the Dirt Bowl Rises Again

"Think we could get a team together, Andy?"
Councilwoman Cheri Bryant-Hamilton and local community leader Neal Robertson have been working for months to bring back the Dirt Bowl to Louisville.   After an absence of several years local officials are planning to revive its 42nd year of competition for not only men’s teams but also women and children whose entries will be at a reduced entry rate of $50.00.  The competition will begin June 30 and continue on July 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 and August 4, 5, 11 with the championship game held on August 12.   You can join by calling 664-0780 or make your way down to Shawnee Park and watch the games or participate in an associated job fair for no charge.


Olympics and Women’s Participation

Qatar and the lower peninsula of Michigan.
Are they the same thing? 
Be still my beating heart – for the first time, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei will let its female athletes compete in the Olympics!   How mighty big of their governments to allow such a thing as it is quite a risk for other women of their country to see women actually competing in anything.  As women in the US continue to fight to gain recognition and equality in the 40 year anniversary of Title IX, these women are fighting just to be able to compete for the first time which should really come as no surprise from a country such as Saudi Arabia where women are still banned from driving, voting or holding public office (which changes in 2015). Of course maybe that isn’t such a big deal since they also cannot marry, leave the country, go to school or open bank accounts without permission from a male guardian. 

Title IX. 40 years old and getting stronger.
Talk about backward thinking – perhaps the real issue is not being backward but instead being fearful of the women’s success both in athletics and in life.  The prior objection from their governments was due to women being barred from participating in front of men that makes me wonder if Timmy, the CARDINAL COUPLE intern or Bill the Goat, could attend?  Banning women's participation in national competitive sports is reported to reflect the "predominant conservative view” that opening sports to women and girls will lead to immorality: “steps of the devil”.  These governments should be careful because once the genie is out of the bottle; she can never be put back in again.  40 years for Title IX has overcome what has been centuries of discrimination for these women but before we get too smug I will remind you that in the year which my grandmother was born – women in the US could not vote and girls/women my age grew up wearing “pennies” (and not like the ones available online today) to identify opposite teams rather than uniforms.  Hang in there women and every other oppressed group – change comes slow – but with exposure comes public pressure where the indefensible does cause change to happen.


Horses - About the Paso Fino Horse

"Hey, no sitting down on the job!"
After all of the great information about Thoroughbred’s and Bull Riding, I thought it only right to give some exposure to versatile Paso Fino horse (horse with the fine gait) which competes throughout the world (including Kentucky) in not only show competitions but in just about every other modality including competitive trail or pleasure rides.  These horses have brought myself and many others as much joy, pride and confidence as many of the other sporting activities from which I have participated. 

While reflecting its Spanish heritage through its proud carriage, grace and elegance horses of this breed have:

*Won the North American Wind Rider Challenge Championship.
*Competed in 100 mile endurance rides.
*Won competitive trail rides.
*Won USEF/PFHA sponsored regional, national, and international shows.
*Won drill team competitions.
*Been ridden hours on the trail without rider fatigue. No posting required. Just sit back and enjoy the smoothest ride ever.
*Shown the brilliance of the breed in parades and demonstrations.
*Been that perfect equine partner for the youth rider.
*Been trained to drive.
*Worked cattle.

Beauty, power, speed and agility.
The Paso Fino is often billed as “The smoothest riding horse in the world”  as it has a well-proportioned conformation and strength with power without extreme muscling. 

Even from birth shows its natural refined 4 beat lateral gait which well suits those of us with physical difficulties either through age related changes or injury.   This breed is growing in popularity with the ancient history of the Paso Fino  fast becoming the future of show and pleasure horses throughout the world.   The Paso Fino is a recognized breed of United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) with such adability that they also compete in Western classes (Trail and Versatility), as well as costume and Pleasure Driving.   Paso Fino horses compete in endurance rides, including the 100 mile rides, sponsored by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and the competitive trail rides sponsored by the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC).   They compete in team penning events, drill team competitions, and are always the crowd pleaser at parades.

Grinnin' and ridin'! 
They continue to grow in popularity, as one by one, converts are won over through a single riding experience.   Folks who test ride a Paso Fino horse quickly display the infamous "Paso Grin".   “The Paso Fino is born with a gait unique to the breed, which is smooth, rhythmic, purposeful, straight, balanced in flexion and synchronous front to rear, resulting in unequalled comfort and smoothness for the rider.   The Paso Fino is a graceful, agile and supple equine athlete that uses all four legs with precision and harmony.   The gait of the Paso Fino horse is totally natural and normally exhibited from birth.   It is an evenly-spaced four-beat lateral gait with each foot contacting the ground independently in a regular sequence at precise intervals creating a rapid, unbroken rhythm.   Executed perfectly, the four hoof beats are absolutely even in both cadence and impact, resulting in unequaled smoothness and comfort for the rider. 

The Paso Fino is capable of executing other gaits that are natural to horses, including the relaxed walk, the canter and the gallop but I could never figure out why anyone would want to teach such a smooth riding horse to perform the gaits of others but, to each their own.

"Conquistador" was also a song by
Procol Harem in the sixties. 
The History of the Paso Fino --  The Paso Fino horse’s journey to the Americas began more than 500 years ago with the importation of Andalusians, Spanish Barbs from North Africa, and smooth gaited Spanish Jennets (now extinct as a breed) to the "New World" by Spanish Conquistadors.   Bred for their stamina, smooth gait and beauty, "Los Caballos de Paso Fino" – the horses with the fine walk – served as the foundation stock for remount stations of the Conquistadors. Centuries of selective breeding by those who colonized the Caribbean and Latin America produced variations of the "Caballo de Criollo," among them the Paso Fino that flourished initially in Puerto Rico and Colombia, and later, in many other Latin American countries (primarily Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Venezuela).   Descendents of the Conquistadors’ horses are believed to have spread into North America after the Spanish soldiers forayed for a brief time into this territory.  Awareness of the Paso Fino as we know it today didn’t spread outside Latin America until after WWII, when American servicemen came into contact with the stunning Paso Fino horse while stationed in Puerto Rico.   Americans began importing Paso Fino horses from Puerto Rico in the mid-1940s.   Two decades later, many Paso Fino horses began to be imported from Colombia.  

Lots to see and do at the Horse Park!
The National and Kentucky Paso Fino Horse Association is proud to have their home at the Kentucky Horse Park, where over 850,000 horse lovers from all over the world visit each year. Those visitors are able to daily see the Paso Fino on display. The Horse Park and our Kentucky Paso Fino Horse Association are working with love for not only the Paso Fino, but also in the promotion of all horses and their future in America. The Kentucky Paso Fino Horse Association continues to build new membership with an enthusiastic team of individuals who primarily reside in the Kentuckiana region. Our members actively participate in the day to day as well as show, trail and clinic activities of not only our association, but also regularly help to expand the awareness of our breed through their mixed breed activities.

The Kentucky Region members are a group with diverse experience and knowledge of the special abilities of our breed, and welcome former and new Paso Fino enthusiasts. They include active breeders, show riders, trainers, judges, regional association representatives, trail and endurance riders, as well as participants in local gaited horse shows such as those held in Bardstown, Meade County, Hart County, and the Bardstown Gaited Horse Association. You are encouraged to participate with others in the preparations and attendance of our annual regional show, basic horsemanship clinics, demonstrations at local businesses, and trail rides. We welcome one and all to the beautiful bluegrass of Kentucky

Shelbyville is just 30 minutes from Downtown
This year the Kentucky Classic 2012 is being held once again at the Shelbyville, Kentucky Shelbyville Fairgrounds on July 20-22, 2012.   The fairgrounds address for your GPS is 1513 Midland Tr. Shelbyville, KY with class’s schedules and details available at the website.   I invite you to come out for a great weekend of horses where the admission and social atmosphere of any horse event is free.

For its 40th anniversary and for the first time in many years, the Paso Fino Horse Association Grand National Show will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park October 7-14, 2012 where information can be found at .  Please come out and enjoy the event where your admission to the park includes entry to the show and also to support a breed that has made a choice to invest in Kentucky by moving its national home office and grand national show to the great state of KY.

As you can tell, much of this information came from others and is reprinted with permission from the Kentucky Paso Fino Horse Association  or has been provided by the National Paso Fino Horse Association.

Sandy W.


  1. Best of luck to Becky! Nice read today, Sandy!

    >> David Watson <<

  2. Good info on Paso Fino! Just curious, do ex-thoroughbred racing horses ever switch over
    to these events after retiring from racing?

    Joe Hill

    1. No - thoroughbred's do not have the smooth 4 beat lateral gait that the paso fino foal possesses at day 1 so are unable to cross over to a paso gait but my understanding is that many are able to be used for equitation and other modalities.

      Also unfortunately many race horses are just taught to leave a starting gate, go to the left and go fast so they have a tremendous amount to learn to switch over to other functions - but they can do it.
      Sandy W.

  3. Went to the Paso Fino event Sunday in Miami, FL. I recommend it as a fun way to spend a day.

    Jeffrey Goble


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